On March 2, six defendants were standing trial in France before the Nîmes Correctional Court. Law enforcement authorities charged the suspects with drug trafficking.
According to official court documents, the six men sold narcotics on the dark web. The prosecution stated that “a part” of the drug trafficking operation took place on the dark net. However, due to the lack of information, we do not know surely if the group sold narcotics on the streets too. Although, there is a high probability that they dealt with drugs locally too. If there is a large number of suspects in a vendor group, there is a big chance that they also sell narcotics face-to-face.
The defendants allegedly accepted payments in virtual currencies, and the narcotics were shipped out using the national postal service, court documents say. An update in the case could be expected soon.
Since police and court did not provide sufficient information in the current case, the exact name of the vendor group remains unknown. However, what we do know is, if proven guilty, the six defendants could face a long time in prison.
In the past few months, there has been a significant increase in French dark net cases. In the past year, we mostly heard about law enforcement authorities busting vendors in Germany, Austria, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden, however, there were only a couple of French suspects. Now, we see about 1-2 new cases per week, where the main perpetrators are French citizens. The reason behind the arrests remains unknown. There could be a chance that law enforcement authorities in France (and other French-speaking countries) discovered the illicit activities on the dark web, and started focusing on both buyers and vendors, who either sell or purchase narcotics, weapons or counterfeit money on marketplaces. However, there is also a possibility that law enforcement authorities were only lucky this year, or finished better work than in the past.
A recent case includes four suspects, who wanted to purchase a phone using seven 50 counterfeit euro notes in Lyon. After the seller alerted law enforcement authorities, they detained the four men, aged between 17 and 22, on the scene. When police questioned the suspects, they admitted that they purchased the fake bills from the dark web. During the home search, investigators discovered an additional seven counterfeit 50 euro notes. Due to their lesser involvement in the crime, two of the defendants were released from police custody. The other two suspects will be presented to the prosecutor’s office later. They are charged with forgery, the use of forged items, and fraud.