288 people involved in dark web drug trafficking arrested in international operation

"This represents the highest number of arrests in any coordinated international action" against dark web drug traffickers.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Tuesday the results of an international investigation into drug trafficking through the dark web.

As Garland explained at a press conference, many traffickers were operating through the dark web of the Internet, believing they remained anonymous. However, he assured that they would no longer feel so confident to do so after the operation they carried out in collaboration with several countries around the world.

"Our message to criminals on the dark web is this: You can try to hide in the furthest reaches of the internet, but the Justice Department will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes," Garland said.

The mega operation dubbed SpecTor led to the arrest of 288 people, 153 of whom were in the United States, the country with the highest number of arrests. In addition, almost one ton of drugs, US$53 million in cash and cryptocurrencies, and 117 firearms were seized.

The Attorney General explained that "this represents the most funds seized and the highest number of arrests in any coordinated international action led by the Justice Department against drug traffickers on the dark web."

The operation began in 2021 following the seizure of Monopoly Market's criminal infrastructure servers. It involved the collaboration of Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Despite a large number of arrests and seizures, the U.S. Attorney General insisted that, although they are already working with Mexico in the fight against drugs, the cooperation of the Latin American country is required on all kinds of issues.

It's worth recalling that the entry of fentanyl through Mexican cartels has become a serious threat to the United States. A recent report called this drug the most significant public health hazard coming from abroad.