PARIS: A 28-year-old housewife with no criminal record has been unmasked as the woman behind a major French “dark web” site which sold drugs and guns until it was shut down last week.

The woman was among four people arrested last Tuesday when intelligence agents closed the Black Hand website, where fake ID documents and stolen bank data had also changed hands for more than two years.

The mother of two, who went by various online pseudonyms including “Anouchka” and “Hades”, did not create the site but worked as its administrator, a DNRED agent told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“A woman active at that level, it’s pretty unusual,” the agent said, adding that Anouchka, who did not have a job, was arrested near the northern city of Lille.

Although she did not have what he termed the “geeky profile of an IT technician”, this was not her first experience on the dark net, he added.

The DNRED officer said it was difficult to determine how much money passed through Black Hand, but he estimated that Anouchka earned tens of thousands of euros a year from its operations.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2018

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