Canadian officials take down dark web marketplace, issue $300,000 in fines

Officials with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said they took down dark web marketplace Canadian HeadQuarters on Wednesday and fined four of those involved in the platform. 

In a statement, CRTC chief compliance and enforcement officer Steven Harroun said Canadian HeadQuarters, also known and Canadian HQ, was “one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces in the world and significantly contributed to harmful cyber activity in Canada.”

CRTC staff executed warrants in the greater Montreal area through 2020 and 2021 that led to the marketplace being taken offline. They also issued fines to Chris Tyrone Dracos, Marc Anthony Younes, Souial Amarak and Moustapha Sabir. Dracos was given a $150,000 fine and the other three were given $50,000 fines. 

Dracos, Younes, Amarak and Sabir are accused of sending phishing emails and violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation. Dracos was given a higher fine because he is allegedly the “creator and administrator” of Canadian HQ. 

“Some Canadians are being drawn into malicious cyber activity, lured by the potential for easy money and social recognition among their peers. This case shows that anonymity is not absolute online and there are real-world consequences when engaging in these activities,” Harroun said.

“Canadian Headquarters was one of the most complex cases our

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