Romanian prosecutors said they have dismantled a gang involved in contract killings on the dark web after carrying our house searches on Wednesday following leads from U.S agencies.
Searches were carried out in the western county of Hunedoara and southern county of Gorj. A number of individuals are suspected of offering hitmen services and money laundering.
Five suspects and four witnesses were taken for questioning, a statement said.
The anti-organized crime prosecutors’ agency, DIICOT, and the agency for combating IT crimes said they were looking to take down encrypted web pages where people could pay for killings, Agerpres reported.
U.S. agencies asked their Romanian partners to investigate a number of Romanian nationals who are suspected of being part of the criminal gang that was involved with money laundering and organizing hit squads.
Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S embassy and Diplomatic Security Service were part of the operation to dismantle the group.
“The sites appeared only to accept cryptocurrency,’’ the prosecutors’ agency said. “U.S authorities said at least five Romanian nationals were involved. They coordinated the sites with the aim of money laundering they obtained from contract killings,” prosecutors’ agency said.
Damages were estimated at half a million euros. Law enforcement officials seized laptops, telephones and 30,000 lei. There was no information about contract killings that were carried out or if Romanian nationals were involved with actual killings.