Silk Road owner had generated sales of over $1.2bn.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has shut down the online drug marketplace ‘Silk Road’ and arrested its alleged mastermind on charges of drug trafficking, hacking and money laundering.
Recognised online as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’, Silk Road owner, Ross William Ulbricht was detained by the US law enforcement authorities in San Francisco, with his bail hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
FBI agent Christopher Tarbell said in a criminal complaint filed at San Francisco federal court that Silk Road has emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today.
"The Silk Road website has served as a sprawling black market bazaar where illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services have been regularly bought and sold by the site’s users," he added.
Court documents also revealed that since January 2011, website has served as an online marketplace that offered illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine and other illegal goods and services to users via the digital currency Bitcoin.
Also dubbed as ‘eBay of drugs’, the site had also been alleged of selling hacker tools including software to steal login credentials or logging keystrokes on consumers’ machines.
The details of transactions on Silk Road were kept confidential by using a Tor computer network which would make it almost impossible to trace computers used to host or access websites.
In May 2013, the online drug marketplace was hit with a Distributed Denial of Service attack.