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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Alleged Hydra Administrator Dmitry Pavlov Reportedly Arrested In Russia

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Alleged Hydra Administrator Dmitry Pavlov Reportedly Arrested In Russia – Dmitry Pavlov, the alleged administrator of the newly shut down darknet market Hydra, has been arrested by a Moscow district court, according to local media sources. He is suspected of being involved in a drug-related offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to Russian officials.

According to the Moscow City News Agency, the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow has apprehended a man named Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov, who is suspected of drug production, sale, and distribution under Russia’s Criminal Code.

Pavlov, who was arrested on April 11, shares the same name as a 30-year-old Russian citizen and resident accused of identical crimes in connection with his claimed involvement as an administrator of the newly busted Hydra Market, one of the darknet’s major markets.

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Hydra’s server infrastructure in Germany was seized earlier this month, and the Russian-language platform’s website was taken down. Several US government entities assisted with the operation.

The US Department of Justice brought criminal charges against Dmitry Pavlov on April 5 for conspiring to distribute narcotics and money laundering. The Russian is also accused of administering and supplying hosting services to Hydra, according to an indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Pavlov told the BBC on April 6 that he had not been approached by US authorities and had learnt about the charges via the media, according to the Russian business newspaper Kommersant.

He also claimed that his company had all of the appropriate permissions from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications authority, and that it was merely leasing servers as a middleman and not operating any websites.

The US has accused the Russian Federation of being involved with crypto-related criminal groups, including as darknet markets and ransomware perpetrators.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Suex, a Russian crypto broker suspected of receiving more than $20 million from DNMs like Hydra, in September.

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Hydra, which had been operational since at least 2015 and had roughly 17 million customers before it was shut down, and Garantex, a cryptocurrency exchange believed to handle over $2.6 million in transactions from the darknet market platform, were also sanctioned by the department.

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