Russia Arrests Co-Founder of Hydra, World’s Largest Dark Web Marketplace Shut Down by U.S. and Germany Last Week

A week after U.S. and German authorities said they shut down what they called the world's largest illegal dark web marketplace, Hydra, Russia said it arrested the alleged co-founder of the dark web platform Hydra.

German police said this month it took control of Hydra's servers in Germany and confiscated $25 million worth of bitcoin assets. The U.S. Justice Department named Dmitry Pavlov, 30, as the administrator of the Hydra servers on the dark web marketplace in the criminal charges.

Pavlov has said he was unaware of the charges and insists he is innocent.

"We are a hosting company and have all the necessary communications licenses. We don't manage any websites, we just act as an intermediary offering servers for rent." He told the BBC's Russia desk last week.

Moscow's Meshchansky District Court ruled to detain D. Pavlov pending trial on charges of large-scale drug trafficking, according to the court's database. .

The ruling is scheduled for Monday, April 11. A court spokesman told Russian media that the suspect is Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov, which exactly matches the name in the U.S. Justice Department's indictment.

This is surprising because of the overwhelming evidence that the Russian government is behind the Hydra market. Some have speculated that the possible reason for Pavlov's arrest in Russia is simply to protect him or to prevent leaks.

If found guilty, Pavlov faces 15 to 20 years in prison. However, it is unlikely that he will be extradited to the United States because there is no extradition treaty between the two countries, Russia and the United States.

Since its inception in 2015, the dark web marketplace Hydra has sold illegal drugs, stolen credit card data, counterfeit currency and forged identity documents through the Tor encrypted network.

German and U.S. investigations into the Hydra marketplace begin in August 2021.

Russian police have also been investigating the Hydra marketplace since its inception, cybersecurity experts said, citing Russian authorities. They speculate that despite being shut down, the Hydra marketplace may come back online.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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