Arrests have been made in Kent and across eastern England as part of an international cybercrime operation into the criminal Genesis Market website which sold stolen online account details.

Genesis Market

Specialist detectives from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), alongside officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Essex Police, Kent Police and Norfolk Constabulary, undertook eight warrants following an investigation into the Genesis Market website.

Four men were apprehended in Essex, Kent, Norfolk, and Buckinghamshire.

Coordinated activity between the FBI, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and several European and UK law enforcement agencies led to the website being taken down on Tuesday.

Two million victims across the world are thought to have had their details sold, with hundreds of potential offenders identified.


Genesis Market’s main criminal commodity was digital identities, offering ‘bots’ for sale that had infected victims’ devices through cyber-attacks against companies and members of the public.

Bots not only provide criminals with stolen data, but also with the means of using it. Upon purchasing one, criminals would get access to all the data harvested by it, such as fingerprints, cookies, saved logins and autofill form data.

Those arrested are suspected customers of the site who paid for access to the compromised data and used it to defraud victims or commit cyber offences.

They were:

  • A 22-year-old man from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was arrested on suspicion of fraud.
  • A 27-year-old man from North Walsham, Norfolk was arrested on suspicion of fraud.
  • A 23-year-old man from Dover, Kent, was arrested on suspicion of fraud.
  • A 31-year-old man from Purfleet-on-Thames, Essex, was arrested on suspicion of fraud.

FBI and Dutch police

The enforcement activity in the UK followed the takedown of the site by the FBI and Dutch police, and forms part of coordinated international action in 18 countries.

Genesis Market was a go-to platform for those seeking to commit fraud, having hosted one of the largest collections of compromised data on the criminal market – 80 million credentials stolen from two million global victims.

However, the coordinated policing response has closed the website down and identified hundreds of potential offenders.

UK activity will continue in the form of arrests and preventative action, where many users will be contacted by law enforcement and warned about their potentially criminal activity.

Detective Sergeant Colin Troll, from ERSOU’s cybercrime capability, said: “These arrests form part of a significant coordinated operation to take down the Genesis Market website and apprehend those who have used the site to facilitate further criminality.

“Now that the site has been taken down, our work continues to establish those who used it for criminal means.

“I would urge anyone with a presence online to visit the NCA or National Cyber Security Centre websites for tips and guidance around keeping your accounts safe.”

Check to see whether your information has been compromised

Members of the public can check whether their data has been compromised and accessed by criminals on Genesis Market by visiting and inputting their email address.

Those who have been affected are encouraged to report it to Action Fraud, via its online portal.

Law enforcement agencies have collaborated to devise five steps for members of the public to follow to protect their devices and online accounts. This can be accessed on the NCA website:

By Ed

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