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Trial Started In Swedish Dark Net Vendor Case

Four men (aged around 25) are standing trial at the Halmstad District Court in Sweden for allegedly running a vendor shop on the dark web selling narcotics.

Trial in Halmstad District Court.  Photo: Mattias Bolin / Swedish Radio

According to official court documents, law enforcement authorities arrested two of the suspects when they tried to pick up a parcel containing five kilograms of amphetamines from a postal delivery point in Åled.

The four suspects are charged with serious drug offenses and aggravated narcotic trafficking. According to law enforcement authorities, the accused persons allegedly sold narcotics on a dark net marketplace. Police claim the suspects had around 20 customers. The vendor group shipped the substances via vacuum sealed packages to not emit any odor. Also, according to the indictment, the accused persons allegedly ordered large quantities of narcotics from abroad (possibly from the dark net), which they resold for a profit on the dark web.

Previously to their arrest, law enforcement authorities caught the trail of the suspects and started investigating them. Police managed to intercept some of the narcotics packages the vendor group sent to the buyers. The seized parcels are considered as part of the evidence used in the trial.

The suspects, all from Halmstad, deny all charges against them.

As Swedish authorities see the growth of dark net cases in the country, they realized something has to be done to prevent such crimes. According to a news outlet in Sweden, Dagenssamhälle.se, the largest issue law enforcement face, is the postal law in the country. Since the dark net trade is increasing in Sweden, more and more narcotics packages are delivered via the postal system. The Scandinavian country now wants to prevent this. Lars Lustig, the author of the article regarding this problem, said the Postal Service Act “failed law enforcement in any conventional way”. According to him, the law aimed at helping the postal workers and the government, when it was legislated in 1993.

“When the Postal Services Act was written in 1993, [drug dealers] were not selling drugs on the Internet, and the number of shipments of drugs sent by mail was small. The Postal staff is involuntarily part of drug distribution. Since April 2015, close to 200 people died from fentanyl intoxication. Most of the products came from the mail flow,” he explained.

The Swedish government had seen the problem in 2015, where they launched a training for postal employees in the northern part of the country on how to handle such situations. However, the training proved to insufficient to prevent drug deliveries by mail.

Lustig listed some fundamental changes and their positive outcomes that he and members of the Swedish government believe that would prevent drug trafficking using the postal system:

“Increased cooperation between police, customs, and postal staff would reduce the staff’s concern about the threat situations they face today.”

“Law enforcement authorities should recognize ongoing violations.”

“Reduced availability of drugs via the internet.”

“The Increased risk of detection could discourage those who want to experiment with drugs.”

“Streamlining the discovery and classification of new substances of abuse.”

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