Germany’s Federal Police (BKA) added another darknet firearm buyer to their lengthy list of DNM weapon related busts. Local authorities announced the arrest of a 33-year-old on Thursday, November 3. The actual arrest took place on the previous Monday in Berlin.
Police in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf borough of Berlin conducted the arrest with outside cooperation. According to news outlets, the arrest was a joint movement by foreign police officers and the Federal Criminal Police Office. “Foreign police officers” is as specific as the announcement disclosed and international collaboration between agencies is not out of the question.
“Operation Hyperion” was recently announced as an international “global law enforcement response” to crime on the darknet. Numerous countries already made arrests based on data provided and compiled by the recent alliances. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement credits US partners in their press release and more countries are making announcements every day.
The Dutch National Prosecution Service went as far as hosting a hidden service site that threatens users of the DNMs and lists identified buyers/sellers. (The site can be viewed via the clearnet here.)
Germany, in response to terrorist activity and the overall threat of terrorism, has been actively arresting darknet weapons vendors. When the Munich gunman’s vendor was arrested, he started working with the BKA to identify and arrest both buyers and other vendors. Many have been arrested since then. However, there is no shortage of DNM weapon busts in Germany and the method of the capture is rarely revealed.
Few details about the recently-arrested 33-year-old exist. Authorities announced the man spent nearly $2,000 worth of Bitcoin on a shotgun and unquantified nine-millimeter ammunition. A search of the man’s house revealed the computer where he made the purchase and other incriminating evidence. A forensic analysis of the suspect’s computer is still ongoing.
Authorities announced that no clear terroristic motives were immediately recognizable in the accused but investigators will be looking into the possibility. The investigation is not yet complete but police made it clear that the Bitcoins would not be reimbursed.