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Empire Market Vendor “Combi” Arrested With Six Accomplices By German BKA

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The Federal Criminal Police Office ( BKA ) arrested three suspects in May 2020, who are said to have sold drugs in large quantities on the Darknet and Clearweb under the pseudonym “Combi”. In the course of search measures that took place in Herford and Bielefeld, numerous pieces of evidence including drugs, firearms and bitcoins were also secured from the six suspects and assets of around 250,000 euros were secured.

Since January 2020, the Federal Criminal Police Office, under the direction of the General Prosecutor General’s Office in Frankfurt am Main – Central Office for Combating Internet Crime ( ZIT ) – has been investigating the “Combi” group of perpetrators. The public prosecutor’s office in Bielefeld took over the investigation in May 2020. The offender group had been marketing narcotics on a large scale since 2017, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy , amphetamine, crystal meth, and cannabis.

The group organized the sale via several Darknet platforms including empire, bitbazaar, apollon, whm, dark market and an anonymously operated online shop ( in the part of the Internet that is accessible to everyone ( Clearweb ). The narcotics offered were mainly sourced from the Netherlands. Sales and shipping took place from Herford.

The drugs were mainly sent to customers in Germany and Europe, but also worldwide. Numerous drug packages went to the United States , Canada and Australia, among others.

The arrests of the three German nationals aged 27, 29 and 30 from Herford were preceded by intensive investigations, in the course of which the men were identified as responsible for the illegal online trade.

The suspects are currently in custody due to warrants.

Martina Link, Vice President at the Federal Criminal Police Office:

This procedure is further evidence that the Internet is not a lawless space. Although anonymization and encryption especially in darknet, sometimes make investigative work considerably more difficult, the know-how and perseverance of our investigators, analysts and forensic experts repeatedly lead to significant successes. Following the successful measures taken against the operators of the Darknet platform “Wall Street Market” and the online shop “Chemical Revolution” last year, the current arrests show that we also keep an eye on the sellers who use such platforms and consistently prosecute them.

With regard to the ongoing investigations, no further information can currently be provided beyond this.

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