In the investigation following the Munich shooting where David Ali Sonboly killed 9 people, German police discovered that the 18-year-old had purchased the weapon from a vendor on the deepweb. Nearly a month after the shooting spree, the Bavarian state police have reportedly caught the person behind the transaction.
On July 27th, Holger Muench, head of Germany’s Federal Police, told the media that “We [the BKA] see that the darknet is a growing trading place, and therefore we need to prioritize our investigations here.”
According to several news outlets, the law enforcement’s new focus on the deepweb has paid off.
An unnamed 31-year-old German man was arrested in a sting operation where he claimed to have sold the Glock 17 to the Munich shooter, as well similar weapons to a 62-year-old accountant, and a 17-year-old student.
Police posed as buyers for an unknown automatic weapon and another Glock 17 for $9,021, and apprehended the man in Marburg, Germany, according to a statement by the Frankfurt State Prosecutor.
Both the accountant and student were also under investigation by the police but have since been released. There is no indication that they were involved in the Munich shooting, investigators note.
The 31-year-old suspect’s claims to have sold David Ali Sonboly the Glock 17 were supported by evidence gathered by the Munich prosecutor’s office and Bavarian state police, the statement said. His bragging was backed by enough substantial evidence to keep him in custody.
“There is the strong suspicion that the 31-year-old man sold the Glock 17 used in the Munich shooting to the 18-year-old German-Iranian shortly before the attacks,” Bavarian state police said in a statement.
The suspect claimed to have sold the Glock 17 to the 18-year-old Iranian-German on May 20th, and met with the shooter again on July 18th to sell 350 rounds of ammunition.
A 65-person task force was responsible for reviewing 3,100 tips and pieces of evidence and interviewed 250 witnesses – many of which indicated Sonboly had taken a bus to Marburg on both dates the suspect provided. Social media messages and various pieces of evidence taken from Sonboly’s home further verified the suspect’s claims.
“The successful investigation proves once again that there is no complete anonymity on the Internet and no comprehensive protection against prosecution. This is also true for the so-called ‘darknet,'” the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.