Four Dutch men, three German men and a Bulgarian man will face trial in Germany on Tuesday, accused of running a dark web server services from an old NATO bunker through which child pornography was distributed, weapons were sold, and assassinations were ordered. According to the Public Prosecutor in Kolbenz, the suspects are complicit in around 250 thousand criminal offenses committed between early 2014 and mid-2019, RTL Nieuws reports.
The group is suspected of running a “bulletproof hosting” service – servers that promise to keep activities out of sight of the authorities. Over 400 server computers were seized.
According to the Prosecutor, these server computers were used to run the largest underground marketplaces in the world. They traded in drugs, forged documents, malware, illegally obtained data, illegally obtained credit cards, and counterfeit money. The authorities also found links to thousands of dark web sites hosting fraudulent Bitcoin lotteries, and sites selling drugs, weapons, assassinations, and child pornography.
The main suspect is a 60-year-old Dutch man. He bought the bunker complex in 2013 and started the server park with two other Dutch aged 25 and 33, according to the Prosecutor. A 50-year-old Dutch man is suspected of the daily management of the server park.
A 50-year-old German man is suspected of working as the server bunker’s accountant, two others aged 20 and 24 were involved in the IT and technology. And the 39-year-old Bulgarian is suspected of working as a security guard and handyman at the bunker.