Czech Republic newspaper Hospodářské noviny is reporting that the alleged former owner the dark web service Sheep Marketplace has been arrested. The marketplace shut down last year and its users lost roughly £28,000,000 worth of bitcoin. It is widely suspected that the owner of the Sheep Marketplace took the money, while he claimed that a hacker had stolen the funds.
Tomáš Jiřikovský, according to the Czech-language article, is accused of running the drug marketplace and running off with the user funds. It is not immediately apparent what he is being charged with, if there are any drug related charges, or if he is only being brought up on money laundering charges.
What is apparent from the article, which was first reported on in English language media by DeepDotWeb, is that police believe Jiřikovský laundered millions of dollars through his girlfriend and others’ bank account and bought a house in his grandfather’s name, in an attempt to avoid detection by the authorities. They also allege that he got this money by selling Bitcoin, primarily on Bitstamp, that he had gotten by stealing the user funds on the underground marketplace.
The Sheep Marketplace was a Tor hidden service marketplace that rose to middling popularity after the Silk Road was shut down by US authorities. Like
The article states that police have seized Jiřikovský’s house, but it is unclear if he is in custody or not, presumably the police wouldn’t allow someone who is accused of stealing that amount of money to walk out of the police station, but there was no mention of his current location.
Tomáš Jiřikovský was long suspected by users of the Sheep Marketplace to be the perpetrator of the crime and according to DeepDotWeb, his details were given to police shortly after the site shut down, but no legal action was taken against him until this recent development.
Hospodářské noviny and DeepDotWeb’s recap of the article are so far the only media outlets to report on the news. Hospodářské noviny is the ninth largest newspaper in the Czech Republic, according to Wikipedia. We will have more as it breaks.