Eight people charged in Germany over darknet centre in disused bunker
Trier, Germany - Eight people have been charged in Germany in connection with the dismantling last year of a darknet computer centre housed in a disused military bunker along the Moselle river, prosecutors in the city of Koblenz said on Tuesday.
They are accused of having hosted websites on their servers through which criminals from around the world carried out illegal transactions worth millions of euros.
The main player is said to be a 60-year-old Dutch national, who acquired the "cyberbunker" in the town of Traben-Trarbach at the end of 2013 and then gradually built it up.
The hundreds of thousands of deals that were processed through the bunker's servers involved everything from drug trafficking, child pornography and counterfeit money to stolen data, murder orders and cyberattacks, according to investigators.
The suspects are accused of aiding and abetting these criminal acts because they "significantly supported and facilitated" them by providing the servers. The darknet is a restricted part of the internet.
In addition, the four Dutch, three German and one Bulgarian suspects - ranging in age from 20 to 60 - have also been charged with the establishment of and participation in a criminal group.
The computer centre was shut down in September 2019 during a large operation that had been prepared for around five years.
More than 400 servers were seized. Data evidence is still being analysed and more charges could follow, prosecutors said. So far investigators have "not found a single legal website or legal service" on the servers, they noted.
A date for the trial has not yet been set.dpa