According to a report by CNN Portugal, the information was obtained through illegitimate access and capture of credentials relating to millions of users on the internet.

The site was managed by a 36-year-old, who provided around six million pieces of personally identifiable information: 25,000 digitised driving licenses and passports, 1,700,000 credentials for online stores, 108,000 bank account data and more than 20,000 credit cards - in addition to credentials for accessing e-mail and PayPal accounts.

The data was then made available on a forum with 94 sellers and more than 100,000 users who, through virtual currencies, namely bitcoins, were able to buy and sell all kinds of information. Revenues were around €4 million.

US authorities also seized four domains used by the same site. The suspect is charged with conspiracy and trafficking in unauthorised access devices. If he is convicted he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.