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European Prosecutors Launch Project to Combat Online Dark Markets


The Illegal Trade on Online Marketplaces (ITOM) was initiated by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, the Openbaar Ministrie.

Kicking off with a meeting in April this year, the project draws together law enforcement from various European countries in an attempt to stop the illegal trade of goods online. Agencies involved include Europol and law enforcement from the UK, Portugal, and Germany.

The project has identified bitcoin as a key pillar supporting illegal trade, and will focus on the digital currency as part of the dark market ecosystem.

Wim de Bruin, a spokesperson for the Openbaar Ministrie, mentioned the value of cryptocurrencies for the global economy, but made a point to address their use in illicit activities:

"We consider the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a good addition to the world of economic trade. Sadly though, they seem to provide great benefits for illegal trade, illegal international money transfers and money laundering.

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