According to the French news outlet la Dépêche de Tahiti, three people were arrested on Friday afternoon for attempting to purchase crystal meth from the dark net.
The three persons were placed in customs detention before they were taken into police custody. Law enforcement authorities released the third suspect from the pre-trial detention, according to TNTV.
One person of the couple is an official of the Presidency while the other is a teacher, Radio 1 claims. The couple allegedly tried to import 60 grams of crystal meth from the dark net. They bought from a vendor residing in Canada. The substances were shipped by the national postal service.
The couple’s trial is expected to start on Monday.
Earlier this month, Guillaume Poupard, head of the French national security service the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information (ANSSI), explained how terrorist groups, including the ISIS and Al-Qaeda, are using the dark net to spread propaganda and obtain weapons illegally. According to Poupard, terrorist groups are taking advantage of the anonymity of the dark net to spread their beliefs, teachings, and vision of the world.
“Digital attacks with major impacts are unlikely in the short term,” Poupard said. “However, that could change very fast. Our real fear, and we may already be there, is that they will use mercenaries, people who will do anything for money. The skills are complex, though not at the level of a nuclear weapon. With a few dozen people, a little money, but not that much, you can be effective.”
Poupard emphasized that the ANSSI fears terrorist groups spreading their beliefs, including the form of instigating videos, on the dark net more than the possibility that these groups launching cyberattacks on the national infrastructure of France.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Europol director Rob Wainwright brought up a similar claim. He said that the Europol isn’t primarily concerned about the cyberattacks terrorist groups have attempted to launch in the past. Instead, the European agency is troubled by the fact that terrorist groups have access to lethal weapons, such as bombs and rifles, on the dark net. Europol believes that the ISIS and other groups could take advantage of the anonymity of the dark web, and use it to import such firearms for their cause.
“Even if they don’t have access to the capabilities, they can simply buy it on the darknet (a hidden internet realm of encrypted websites), where there is an enormous trade in cybercriminal technology. That said, attacking the critical national infrastructures at least of most countries is… not easily done, and it’s something that is not as immediate and showy as firing automatic weapons in a theater or in public,” Wainwright said.
However, it still remains a question whether it is worth for terrorist groups to use the dark net for weapon importation. Since almost all transactions on the dark web are conducted in bitcoins, which could be traced back using the public blockchain, the dark web would seem as a risky source for firearms purchase.