German police said on Tuesday they have taken down Russian-language illegal darknet marketplace Hydra, the largest such network in the world, and seized bitcoins worth €23 million ($25 million).
Founded in 2015, Hydra sold illegal drugs, stolen credit card data, counterfeit currency and fake identity documents, masking the identities of those involved using the Tor encryption network.
The marketplace had around 17 million customer accounts and over 19,000 vendor accounts, according to the BKA federal police.
“The Hydra market was probably the illegal marketplace with the highest turnover worldwide” with sales amounting to at least €1.23 billion in 2020 alone, it said in a statement.
Investigators have taken control of Hydra’s servers in Germany and the marketplace has been “shut down”, the BKA said. Suspects are being investigated for “operating criminal trading platforms on the Internet on a commercial basis”, it said.