Northern Ireland

Items seized in Belfast and Co Down as part of global probe into online criminal marketplace

The dark web Genesis Market sold stolen log-in details and other data to criminals around the world before it was shut down earlier tis week.
The dark web Genesis Market sold stolen log-in details and other data to criminals around the world before it was shut down earlier tis week. The dark web Genesis Market sold stolen log-in details and other data to criminals around the world before it was shut down earlier tis week.

POLICE in Belfast and Co Down have seized items including laptops and mobile phones as part of a global investigation into one of the world's biggest online criminal marketplaces.

The Genesis Marketplace was shut down earlier this week through a crackdown involving international law enforcement agencies in 17 countries, including the FBI in the US.

The dark web market sold passwords, IP addresses and log-in details stolen from an estimated 2 million people around the world, and sold them for less than $1 in some cases, allowing criminals to access bank accounts of unsuspecting victims, and enabling them to commit other fraud through various sites.

Around 200 searches have taken place globally, with so far around 120 people arrested in connection with the marketplace.

A PSNI spokesperson said detectives in its own Cyber Crime Unit carried out searches in Tandragee, Co Down earlier this week in line with the operation, while a search took place in west Belfast on Thursday morning.

"A number of items, namely laptops and mobile phones, have been seized for further examination," the spokesperson said of both searches, following which no arrests took place.

“Genesis Marketplace was a service for criminals seeking to defraud victims.  Essentially, it sold victims’ personal data – information, such as IP addresses, that would help fraudsters to log into bank or shopping accounts.

“Our enquiries are continuing, and I would ask anyone with concerns, or who feel they may have been targeted, to contact officers on 101.  Alternatively, please report to Action Fraud and quote ‘Genesis’.”

Reports can be made to Action Fraud, the UK's cyber crime and fraud reporting centre, at www.actionfraud.police.uk.