Police smash Germany’s biggest online drug market

German authorities said Friday they took down the country's largest internet marketplace for narcotics and arrested 11 suspects from Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.

Police smash Germany's biggest online drug market
Seized cannabis on a table during a press conference at the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden on Friday. Photo: DPA

Police and prosecutors said in a statement that they worked for more than a year to smash the so-called Chemical Revolution site, which sold amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD and other synthetic drugs.

Accepting Bitcoin payments, the site started operations in September 2017 and was allegedly run by a 26-year-old German man. He has been in custody since May.

The latest suspects arrested – eight Germans aged 24 to 35, two Poles aged 32 and 44 and a 43-year-old Dutchman – managed the acquisition, packaging, transport and distribution of the illicit wares.

Significant stash of drugs found

The police operation made its first swoop in early 2018 with the arrest of a German man in the eastern state of Brandenburg found with a significant stash of drugs at his home.

Between February and May 2019, German investigators working with colleagues in Poland, the Netherlands, France and Spain arrested another 10 suspects.

Ecstasy pills were also seized. Photo: DPA

The statement by authorities Friday did not provide information on the total amount of drugs sold on the site or its revenues before it was shut down.

During a press conference in Wiesbaden, investigators showed some of the drugs seized, including piles of cannabis and ecsta

In May, German authorities announced that they had dismantled the world's second largest darknet market.

The “Wall Street Market” site traded in narcotics as well as stolen data, fake documents and malicious software.

READ ALSO: German police shut down major 'darknet' illegal trading site

The encrypted platform had more than one million customer accounts, over 5,000 registered sellers and more than 60,000 sales listings.

Investigators believe the operators of Chemical Revolution also sold drugs on Wall Street Market.

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”