The US government is seeking to have two members of a dark web fraud gang extradited from the United Kingdom where they are being held. The two are believed to be the administrators of a dark web forum which has been primarily involved in the sale of stolen credit cards and other personal credentials on the dark web for bitcoins.
According to the investigating detectives, the two cybercriminals are members of a 36-dark web criminal gang which has been operating using different names including ‘MoneyMafia’ and ‘Infrared’. The dark web gang has been linked to an over £409 million ($530m) loss by individuals and banks globally.
The demand for cybercrime ware products on dark web marketplaces has continuously increased in the recent past. According to research conducted in April this year, over 41 percent of merchandise sold on the dark web involved stolen credentials, hacking tools, email addresses, malware, and counterfeit documents. The demand has been attached to the value linked to the sale and the use of such credentials. Most are used in fraud and malware for ransomware and DDos kits.
Anthony Okeakpu Nnamdi and Taimoor Zaman are facing charges for fraud, the theft of personal items, impersonation, and money laundering. The two have since denied the allegations. According to the documents filed at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the two suspects would interfere with the investigation, which is still underway, as they are both senior members of the dark web criminal gang. The ‘lnfraud’ gang had been operating for years and is known for the slogan, “In fraud we trust.”
During the hearing, the lawyer representing the US government revealed that Taimoor Zaman had been a salesperson, an administrator, and a moderator of the dark web forum where he had been using the nickname, Scottish. He also said that Zaman had posted more than 250 times on the dark web forum, advertising for stolen credit card numbers, IDs, social security numbers, and drivers licenses among other personal credentials.
According to the barrister, Zaman was in the run. He had left Italy after he discovered that the law enforcers there were tracking his moves and traveled to the United Kingdom where he was arrested at Blackburn, Lancashire in a house on February 9.
Anthony Okeakpu Nnamdi, a full-time college student in London, is also accused of providing customer services on the dark web forum. He is said to be a part-time moderator and administrator operating under the nickname Moneymafia1, helping customers to place their orders on the dark web market. He was arrested on February 14 this year at Heathrow airport after returning from Nigeria. The police obtained a search warrant from the Westminster Magistrates’ Court which they executed and subsequently recovered a computer from his residential home.
The US government’s lawyer said if the two suspects were extradited they might have to wait until next year, or at the latest in 2020, to face trial.
The two are expected to appear at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court again at a later date during the hearing for the application filed by the US government to have the two extradited.