Earlier this week, the prosecution charged two brothers from Skåne, Sweden for selling drugs on the dark web.
According to the prosecution, the 39-year-old and the 42-year-old men have been selling narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, amphetamine, cannabis, and other substances, on darknet marketplaces to their customers. Mattias Sigfridsson, the section chief of the regional investigation unit, said that one of the suspects ran a shop on the internet, while the other brother managed the warehouse where they stored the drugs, packed and mailed the substances to their customers. The police investigation showed that the two defendants were not selling on the clearnet (the normal part of the internet everyone knows) but on the dark web.
One of the brothers lives in Söderslätt, Sweden, while the other lives in Thailand. The media reported that both are family men.
According to prosecutor Anna Palmqvist, the drug operation of the duo started in 2014, and between 2014 and 2016, the defendants earned approximately 3.85 million SEK (440,000 USD) from their narcotic business. The investigation showed that the brothers had between 3,000 and 4,000 orders from their customers. Swedish police did not enclose how they acquired such details, however, they possibly obtained the login details to the duo’s vendor profile and checked the history of their transactions and orders.
After a few months of reconnaissance – partly by following their vendor store on the dark web, and by following one of the brothers when he mailed the drug shipments – law enforcement authorities raided the warehouse in spring 2016. During the raid, investigators arrested the 42-year-old suspect and seized narcotics from the warehouse, including three ounces of amphetamine, 60 grams of cocaine, and nearly one and a half liters of fentanyl. However, the investigation led to the countryside, where law enforcement authorities found approximately three and a half kilograms of amphetamine buried under the ground.
Sigfridsson said that they used helicopters to monitor the older brother while he was mailing a shipment of drugs. The police chief added that they used such investigation methods since the “it was completely flat” where the defendant lives. Sigfridsson added that investigators could not use vehicles to follow the suspect since the 42-year-old would have noticed that law enforcement authorities were on his trail.
While the older brother was arrested in April 2016, law enforcement authorities detained the 39-year-old in July 2016. Since the younger brother was living in Thailand, Swedish police had to ask for the help of foreign law enforcement authorities. According to the court documents, many countries participated in the investigation. Palmqvist said that the investigation started when Swedish law enforcement received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who had seized a server and submitted the data to the Swedish police through the Europol.
“The difficulty when things happen abroad is that you have to request assistance from the country’s police. It has taken a long time to get the data from Thailand. They did not help us until this April,” Palmqvist said in a statement.
Mikael Nilsson, defending the older brother, ridiculous that he understands that the whole investigation had taken quite some time since law enforcement authorities had to request details from Thailand. However, he finds it ridiculous that the court had held numerous detention hearings about extending the suspect’s custody.
“I think we have gone up at least ten detention hearings to try to get my principal. But it has not gone,” Nilsson said.
“They have now been detained an amazing time. I am critical of the Court’s willingness to accept this. The prosecution’s rough, but the evidence is not in parity. We are aiming for an acquittal,” Nilsson criticized the court’s decision.
The next trial hearing will be scheduled soon with the case continuing in the security hall of the Malmü District Court. According to the court documents, the negotiations are expected to last for 14 trial days.