According to a memorandum published by the US Department of Justice, over $23.6 Million (mostly in Bitcoin) were confiscated in a joint enforcement operation which included officers from the US Immigrations and Customs Office, Homeland Security, the US Secret Service, US Postal Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
According to the memorandum, US Authorities tracked illegal transactions in various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to various dark web market sites like the Silk Road and AlphaBay. For years these illegal websites have served as a safe haven for anyone with cash who wants to buy illegal goods such as arms, drugs, or fake ID.
The Silk Road is just one of 35 Darknet vendors whose businesses we effectively shut down and seized by authorities. The joint task force has served over 70 subpoenas for defendants who were subsequently arrested and required to show up for a court hearing at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Darknet is marketed as an “Anonymous” market, however nothing is really anonymous these days as governments or tech savvy organizations can follow your digital footsteps and track your location and activity anywhere in the world.
It appears Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are the preferred tender as they use it for money laundering by exchanging the currencies via Crypto Exchanges and then cash out their digital money and translate it into FIAT currency such as USD or EUR.
Some of this money is also used to finance additional online scam operations such as Bitcoin Trader and Binary Robot 365 which are in essence fake trading systems designed to trick unsuspecting victims into depositing money with offshore unregulated brokers. If you are solicited to join these programs, make sure to avoid them and report them to the authorities.