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Utopia 'dark web' drug marketplace seized by Dutch Police

cocaine party 2013

Utopia, a Silk Road-style "dark web" marketplace accessible only by using anonymity network software, has been seized by Dutch police. The underground marketplace, which launched last week, was intended to become a direct competitor to the second incarnation of Silk Road, and allowed for the secret sale of illegal drugs and other goods.

Visitors to Utopia will now see a splash page bearing the words "this hidden service has been seized by the Dutch National police." The police are yet to specify what kind of items or services were available through the marketplace, but Wim de Bruin, a spokesperson for the Dutch public prosecution service, said more information on the seizure would be released later this week. Despite the seizure of the main website, Utopia's forums remain open for now.

Utopia was developed as a successor to underground marketplace Black Market Reloaded

Utopia reportedly shared the same user base, business approach, and vendors as Black Market Reloaded, another underground marketplace that closed in October 2013. Utopia also shared an admin — bearing the screen name of "backopy" — with the departed site. The seizure was acknowledged by a Silk Road admin shortly after Utopia was shuttered, who urged users of Silk Road, Utopia, and other such marketplaces to change their credentials if they shared them across "dark web" sites. It's not yet clear whether any people have been arrested as a part of the seizure.

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