Cryptocurrency is favored more for transactions in peddling narcotics in China, says the police.
During the late hours of the night, an unfamiliar dark figure stealthily infiltrated the corridor of a residential community. Moving cautiously, the shadow extended its hand, feeling around until it found a concealed spot to secure a plastic package containing both “stamps” and marijuana products using a magnet. Approximately a month later, another shadow meticulously retrieved the plastic bag. Thus, in a realm of secrecy where nobody was aware, an illicit drug transaction was clandestinely concluded.
Drug addicts and dealers established communication through foreign social platforms. Dealers strategically concealed their merchandise beforehand, while addicts autonomously located and retrieved the goods based on provided instructions. Subsequently, transactions were conducted using cryptocurrency.
On the eve of “6.26 International Anti-Drug Day,” the Shanghai police disclosed the successful dismantling of a criminal gang involved in the sale of new drugs, as well as the cultivation, processing, and distribution of marijuana.
The underlying factor, in this case, is the prevalence of internet-based drug trafficking, where no direct contact is involved throughout the entire process. This has emerged as the primary modus operandi in the contemporary drug trade and presents a crucial challenge that needs to be addressed in drug control efforts.
Dark Web and Cryptocurrency Payments
The discovery of this case highlights the importance of public vigilance towards emerging methods of drug-related crimes, such as online drug trafficking and “buried bag” transactions.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in illicit activities involving the production and distribution of drugs through online channels. This underground industry is rapidly developing, utilizing overseas social software for communication, engaging in “buying” transactions and making payments through cryptocurrency. As a result, a comprehensive network-based drug trade ecosystem is taking form.
Regarding the prevailing trends, overseas social platforms and the ‘dark web’ are assuming an increasingly significant role in various aspects of drug-related offenses. They have transformed into breeding grounds for the proliferation and expansion of drug crimes. Section Chief Li from the Anti-Drug Division of Shanghai Public Security Bureau emphasized that law enforcement agencies are leveraging advanced network investigation technologies, devising novel collaborative models among multiple police forces, conducting research, and exploring technical and tactical strategies to combat drug-related crimes on the internet. Their goal is to continually enhance the effectiveness of countermeasures against online drug crimes.
Within the realm of drug fund circulation, certain drug dealers employ multiple intermediary steps to conceal transaction details, thereby both obscuring the truth of their dealings and presenting challenges for law enforcement agencies in tracing the flow of drug funds. This case exemplifies the emerging trend of utilizing cryptocurrency as a means to facilitate drug fund payments, further complicating the tracking process for the police.