The crypto industry has been striving to steer clear of its association with the darknet. However, this connection between the two has once again resurfaced, following a recent bust by the United States’ Department of Justice [DOJ].
The Big Drug Bust
Opioid has been a pressing problem for the United States of America. With many dying of an opioid overdose, studies show that more than a million people are addicted to it. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The dark side of the web is often visited by many of those who intend to procure a wide range of drugs. Law enforcement wasn’t far behind as the DOJ nabbed over 179 individuals over the sale of drugs through the darknet.
In a recent release, the DOJ pointed out that the agency joined hands with Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team along with Europol to execute Operation DisrupTor. This operation mainly focused on shutting down opioid trafficking on the Darknet that lured over tens of thousands of U.S residents. DisrupTor led to the capture of over $6.5 million in cash and cryptocurrencies. The list continues as 500 kilograms of drugs were obtained worldwide, about 274 kilograms of drugs including fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA was procured from the bust.
The Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Edvardas Šileris, took a dig at the “anonymity” of the darknet and said,
“Law enforcement is most effective when working together, and today’s announcement sends a strong message to criminals selling or buying illicit goods on the dark web: the hidden internet is no longer hidden, and your anonymous activity is not anonymous,”
Drugs weren’t the only element these fraudsters were selling, about 63 firearms were and also other illicit goods were discovered by law enforcement. These traffickers reportedly resorted to sites like AlphaBay, Dream, WallStreet, Nightmare, Empire, White House, DeepSea, Dark Market for the sale of their goods.
While the United States sheltered about 121 of these criminals, two were arrested in Canada, four in the United Kingdom, three in Austria, one in Sweden, eight in the Netherlands, and a whopping 42 individuals in Germany.
The Deputy Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen called out criminals selling fentanyl on the Darknet and said,
“The arrest of 179 of them in seven countries—with the seizure of their drug supplies and their money as well—shows that there will be no safe haven for drug dealing in cyberspace.”