French law enforcement closes down dark web forum Black Hand

Black Hand, a major dark web forum for illegal dealing in drugs, weapons, databases, and fake documents was shut down by French authorities in a massive operation on June 12.

The operation involved over 40 agents of the National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations (DNRED), dog handlers and technical experts to conduct coordinated raids in several French cities, according to a statement by the French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, GĂ©rald Darmanin.

The website had been in operation for more than two years and was allegedly run by a 28-year-old woman with no previous criminal record, who was arrested in the raids last Tuesday as Black Hand’s main administrator, along with three other people.

The website was accessible only through a special software and was used by over 3,000 people, according to Darmanin.

He described the operation as “the first of its kind in France” and said that it resulted in the discovery of numerous false identity documents, about 4,000 euros in cash and 25,000 euros in different virtual currencies, and seizure of computer equipment.

The investigators were also able to access the contents of the server and its data.

“I congratulate the DNRED agents for this extraordinary operation. The dismantling of this platform forms a first at the national level and illustrates the mobilization of the customs, and in particular the DNRED, in the fight against the new forms of cybercrime,” Darmanin said in the statement.

The suspects were being held in custody in Lille, where they were brought in front of the magistrates of a court after 48 hours.


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