Bloomsfield market owner arrested in Slovakia
Europol announced yesterday the arrest of a Slovak national who had been trading firearms, ammunition and drugs on the dark web. It is now established that the market mentioned in the Europol press release is that of Bloomsfield.
Dark Web World reported yesterday about the closure of the rather insignificant dark web market Bloomsfield. Today Europol published a press release in regard:
“Europol has supported the Slovak authorities in their investigation into a Slovak national who had been trading firearms, ammunition and drugs on the Darknet.
The man has been arrested, placed in police custody, and several of his premises in Slovakia searched. A Europol analyst equipped with the mobile office was deployed on the spot to perform live crosschecks against Europol’s databases.
In one of the locations searched, Slovak authorities discovered and seized five firearms and approximately 600 rounds of ammunition of different calibres. The investigators also found a sophisticated indoor cannabis plantation, 58 cannabis plants and a Bitcoin wallet containing bitcoins worth EUR 203 000, which is thought to have been obtained from illegal online activities.
In addition, Slovak authorities and Europol dismantled an online drugs marketplace that was hidden on the Darknet and which the individual arrested had been running as an administrator and operator since 2015. At least 10 kg of cannabis had been purchased through this channel [Bloomsfield].
The server used by the suspect to host the Darknet marketplace was also seized during the raids and is currently being forensically analysed. Slovak authorities and Europol have extended the investigation into the users and vendors who utilised the marketplace.
Europol supported Slovakia throughout the entire investigation by providing its analytical and financial intelligence capabilities. Also, a crosscheck performed during the house searches generated a hit on Europol’s databases which helped investigators identify a Darknet vendor living in another EU country. The individual was suspected of supplying one of the firearms found during the house searches in Bratislava.
Europol’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2017 has identified the online trade in illicit products and services as one of the current organised crime drivers in the EU. The online trade in illegal firearms has expanded to the extent that nowadays it is considered a key facilitator for firearms trafficking.”
Looking a bit deeper we found some conflicting information.
BleepingComputer reported today that two individuals has been arrested for “their involvement in drugs and weapons trafficking, among which, one is suspected of operating the Dark Web marketplace known as Bloomsfield.”
According to BleepingComputer the arrests took already place on the 1st of March and were carried out by the Slovak National Crime Agency (NAKA) at two locations in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital.
The suspects are named as 33-year-old Adam and 28-year-old Lukáš, both from Bratislava.
The English-language newspaper The Slovak Spectator reported yesterday: “During a domiciliary search in September 2016, the police found dozens of cannabis plants equal to 15,000 doses, LSD amounting to 117 doses, 5 guns and 600 rounds of ammunition. The police also logged onto the server which the criminals used to trade on the Internet and found 203,000 euros in bitcoins used for anonymous payments and also identified other buyers and sellers of drugs, guns and explosives.”
Considering that the weapons, drugs and bitcoin were already confiscated in September 2016 and that the arrest took place on the 1st of March 2017, leaves us to wonder why Europol and the Slovak National Crime Agency (NAKA) only announced yesterday that the arrest and seizure took place.
As a matter of fact the Bloomsfield market was only shut down yesterday, which leaves the question of who operated the market until yesterday, if the ‘operator’ was already arrested on the 1st of March.