Dark Web Forum Shut Down in France

Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 02:06 PM gHale

A dark web site based out of France is now shut down, officials said.

Thought of as a vital illegal dark web platform in France, the “Black Hand” forum ended up taken down last week by French law enforcement officials.

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Over 40 agents of the National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations (DNRED), customs handlers and technical experts were involved in coordinated raids in several French cities on June 12, said Gérald Darmanin of the French Minister of Public Action and Accounts.

Arrested in the action was the site’s administrator and several other suspects, the seizure of computer equipment, falsified identity documents, and nearly €4,000 in cash and around €25,000 in various virtual currencies.

In addition, the investigators were able to access the contents of the “Black Hand” server. In its initial investigation, officials found more than 3,000 registered users.

The forum was active for the last couple of years, with users offering many illegal products for sale, including narcotics, weapons, false papers, stolen banking data, and so on.

The suspects were handed over to the investigators of the sub-directorate for the fight against cybercrime of the Central Directorate of Judicial Police (DCPJ).

The suspects were brought before the magistrates of a court in Lille, where they were charged with “criminal conspiracy for the preparation of crime (putting into circulation counterfeit or falsified currency legal tender in France), offenses punishable by 10 years imprisonment (drug trafficking) and offenses punishable by five years’ imprisonment (false administrative documents, scams),” officials said. They have since been released.

The investigation continues and has been entrusted to the Central Office for the Fight Against Crime Linked to Information Technology and Communication (OCLCTIC).

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