Weekly Security Digest - May 2, 2023,

Interfor International‘s Weekly Security Digest – May 2, 2023

Global Security Matters


  • Law enforcement has seized the illegal dark web marketplace “Monopoly Market” and arrested 288 suspects involved in buying or selling drugs on the dark web in an operation coordinated by Europol with nine countries.  More than EUR 50.8 million (USD 53.4 million) in cash and virtual currencies was seized, along with 850 kg of drugs and 117 firearms.  The operation, codenamed SpecTor, was composed of a series of separate complementary actions in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland. 

Military and Defense 



  • In separate attacks in Nigeria, gunmen killed 15 villagers and abducted five aid workers. In Benue, the gunmen opened fire on villagers in the Apa area in the latest in a spiral of attacks. While no group has claimed responsibility, authorities are blaming Fulani herdsmen fighting over limited water and land. Over 80 people have been killed in Benue in April from such attacks. In Ngala, Borno state, five aid workers of the international non-government organization FHI 360 were abducted by Islamic extremists. 


  • The Marshall Island flagged vessel Advantage Sweet has been seized by Iranian soldiers.  Iran claims the tanker failed to stop after being involved in a fatal collision with a fishing boat. However, new reports are tying the seizure to a US effort to seize an Iranian oil cargo on a Greek-operated tanker.  Additionally, US Congress is pressing the Biden administration to increase seizures of Iranian oil and take a more active role in protecting the Middle East from Iranian maritime threats. 


Covid-19 & Pandemics

  • The US will stop requiring most foreign air travelers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The requirement will cease on May 11, the same day vaccine rules for federal employees and contractors end.
  • Japan declared that starting May 8, 2023, Covid-19’s legal status will be downgraded to a common disease like seasonal flu.