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Milomir Desnica, a 33-year-old Croatian and Serbian citizen, faces charges for launching and operating the Monopoly Market Darknet marketplace. Desnica facilitated the sale of various drugs and medications through the platform. According to the Department of Justice, he generated approximately $18 million from the illicit trade of prohibited substances.
Extradition and Money Laundering Charges
Desnica, additionally referred to as “Hands,” was sought after by the police as of July 2022, based on the accusation. He was recently deported from Austria to Washington, where he is now accused of money laundering, as well as narcotics possession and trafficking.
At least two crypto exchange firms are said to have been used by Desnica to hide his illicit gains. In order to properly launder his profits, he would then convert the Bitcoin for fiat money directly with Serbian dealers. Desnica would likely receive a life sentence and pay fines if found guilty.
Operation SpecTor and Monopoly Market Takedown
A global law enforcement operation named “SpecTor” in May led to the detention of 288 Darknet users and merchants. In addition, €50.8 million in cash and cryptocurrencies were seized as a result of the operation.
The vendors that were detained were connected to the Monopoly Market, a Darknet bazaar known for selling narcotics and weapons. Established in 2019, Monopoly Market was subsequently taken over by German authorities in 2021. It was used to gather data about buyers and sellers.
According to Europol, vendors on the Monopoly Market also participated in other Darknet marketplaces, which made their arrests effective in stifling the Darknet’s illicit products and narcotics activity. 850 kg of cocaine and 117 weapons were also taken by law enforcement as part of Operation SpecTor.