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First Ever Dark Net Case In South Korea

Jeong, a 27-year-old man, was arrested by South Korean authorities for trafficking and distributing drugs. He bought illegal substances from dark net marketplaces and resold them to international students.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, this is the first time in South Korean history when somebody was caught with dark web related drug offenses. Jeong was arrested by law enforcement authorities when he was on his way back to junior high school students from Canada who were studying abroad in the country.

Authorities say Jeong started distributing illegal substances in August 2015. Firstly, he bought drugs from the dark net, however, later, he started to grow marijuana too. According to the police, he found information on cultivation methods on the dark web. He rented 40 tents and a room with a thermostat in Gangwon, Cheorwon County. He was growing cannabis from November 2015 to June, law enforcement authorities say. Jeong made 20 million wons ($17,600) by selling weed packs disguised as pipes for smoking.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency arrested five people, including Jeong, who were suspected of distribution and 75 others who are believed to be buyers of Jeong. Most international students who are accused buying narcotics, have bought for the total sum of 100 million wons ($88,000). They purchased substances, such as marijuana, LSD, MDMA and cocaine. Authorities published the total weight of cocaine Jeong sold to the students, which is 7,755 grams.

Police seized Jeong’s computer and during the analyzation, they uncovered all drug offenses the 27-year-old made.

Since the lack of information and/or strict drug laws, some Asian countries have never heard of the dark web and had no offenses related to that special part of the internet. For example, India had its first dark net case in August 2015. Three people were arrested for ordering and distributing drugs. When they told police they bought the narcotics from the now closed Agora Marketplace, police couldn’t access it. When they tried to navigate to the website, they could only find sites selling antiques. However, this is normal for law enforcement authorities in a country where nobody or only just a few people heard about the dark net.

“This is the first time we are arresting peddlers who claimed to have bought drugs online,” said R Ramesh, one of the officers of the Central Crime Branch investigating the case. They use special software to access the website, which keeps the identity of both buyer and seller anonymous. Tracing the IP address is also proving to be difficult.”

“All transactions on the website are done through fake profiles, which makes it harder to trace the users,” another official in the narcotics wing of Central Crime Branch said.

Most of the population may not know about the dark net in India, however, the country is mostly known in the dark net community for bulk selling cheap (and mostly fake) pharmaceutical pills internationally. However, authorities in India became more aware of the issue. According to the narcotics wing of Bengaluru’s Central Crime Branch (CCB), postal couriers have started to screen packages for illegal substances in September.

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