The German Federal Criminal Police Office, with assistance from various international law enforcement agencies, has successfully seized Kingdom Market, a dark web marketplace that was engaged in the sale of drugs, malware, stolen data, and forged documents.
Established in 2021, Kingdom Market primarily facilitated the illegal trade of narcotics. At the time of its shutdown, the site boasted over 42,000 listings, with numerous sellers and tens of thousands of registered customers.
Utilizing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and Zcash, users on the darknet marketplace conducted transactions for illicit goods, while the operators received a 3% commission for facilitating sales through the platform. According to a press release issued by the German police, the operators of Kingdom Market are accused of operating a criminal trading platform on the internet and engaging in the illicit trafficking of narcotics.
Assisting in this operation were law enforcement authorities from the United States, Switzerland, Moldova, and Ukraine. Notable U.S. agencies involved include the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation agency, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Bleeping Computer has reported that one arrest has been confirmed as part of this takedown. Alan Bill, a Slovakian national who held an administrator role on Kingdom Market under the aliases "KingdomOfficial" and "Vend0r," was charged on December 14 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He faces charges related to drug trafficking, identity theft, and money laundering conspiracies.
Although the Kingdom Market dark web marketplace has been successfully shut down, it is likely that other forums will emerge to take its place. Furthermore, it is possible that this takedown is only temporary, as similar forums have reemerged in the past following law enforcement operations.