Milomir Desnica, a citizen of Croatia and Serbia, has been charged with running the Monopoly Market drug darknet marketplace.
Milomir Desnica (33), a citizen of Croatia and Serbia, has been extradited from Austria to the United States to face charges of running the darknet drug marketplace Monopoly Market.
According to the indictment, in late 2019, the man launched and operated a darknet marketplace to sell illicit narcotics, including opioids, stimulants, psychedelics, and prescription medications, among other drugs.
In 2021, law enforcement within the United States placed and received numerous orders for narcotics on the Monopoly Market website from various vendors.
Desnica was personally involved in the review and approval of the sale of narcotics through his marketplace.
“In December 2021, in coordination with foreign law enforcement partners in Germany and Finland, the computer server hosting Monopoly was seized and taken offline.” reads the press release published by DoJ. “Through analysis of the seized server, law enforcement identified records of the narcotics sales facilitated by Monopoly, financial records documenting cryptocurrency payments on Monopoly, an online forum associated with Monopoly, communications from the Monopoly operator to vendors, commission payment invoices and more. Through extensive analysis of these records, Desnica was identified as the operator of Monopoly.”
According to the investigators, between at least April 2020 and July 2022, the man used at least two cryptocurrency exchange services to launder his illicit proceeds.
Desnica was located and arrested in Austria in November 2022, the police conducted a search of his residence and vehicle, seizing electronics and cash.
According to DoJ, the is charged with facilitating $18 million in illegal drug transactions using cryptocurrency.
Desnica faces one count for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
“The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison. The charge of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. The charges also carry potential financial penalties.” concludes DoJ.
In May, during an international law enforcement operation coordinated by Europol, codenamed ‘SpecTor’, the police seized the illegal dark web marketplace ‘Monopoly Market.’ The law enforcement agencies from nine countries (Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland) arrested 288 individuals suspected to be involved in buying or selling drugs on the dark web.
The law enforcement seized more than EUR 50.8 million (USD 53.4 million) in cash and virtual currencies, 850 kg of drugs, and 117 firearms were seized. According to the press release published by the Europol, the seized drugs include over 258 kg of amphetamines, 43 kg of cocaine, 43 kg of MDMA, and over 10 kg of LSD and ecstasy pills
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Monopoly Market)
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