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'Dark web' marketplace shut down by US officials

US Justice Department officials have announced the shut down of an internet marketplace for drugs, counterfeit goods, weapons, hacking tools and other illicit items.

Prosecutors say AlphaBay had 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors before it was taken offline.

They say it was the largest of many illegal marketplaces that operate in hidden corners of the internet.

The "dark web" site operated on the Tor network, which helps users browse the internet anonymously.

Visitors to the online marketplace paid through digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Officials say hundreds of vendors advertised either fentanyl or heroin.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal officials announced an indictment in California on Thursday of a suspected administrator of the site, and the Justice Department filed a forfeiture complaint to seize assets connected to the operation.

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From Belfast Telegraph