The course to bring illegal Darknet traders down to the law inspired a prohibition exercise which led to the arrest of three: Mohammad Abdul Waheb (20), Mohammad Abdul Quddos (20) and Calvin Mascarenhas (19). They were arrested for being in possession of narcotics suspected to have been bought from the Darknet marketplace. The three arrested suspects are residents of Chandrayangutta, Ismail Nagar, and Bowenpally respectively.
Akun Sabharwal, the Prohibition, and Excise director, revealed that Mohammad Abdul Waheb is a student, Mohammad Abdul Quddos is a private firm worker, and Calvin Mascarenhas is a musician.
Darknet marketplace is used by several individuals in India, and a close source has revealed that the suspects include some notable celebrities and also school children. A senior police officer hinted: “The gang was selling the contraband to one highly reputed film producer among others and the details will be revealed once the investigation is completed.”
India in 2016 for the first time detected drug trafficking which originated from the Darknet valued in bitcoin. They, however, have strengthened their boundaries and raid against Darknet drug dealers in the country.
The authorities have said that the cross-border drug trafficked decreased in 2016. RR Bhatnagar, the Director General of India’s Narcotics Control Bureau said that Punjab, a location which has suffered heavily in drug smuggling has for the recent time experienced a 30% decrease in drug smuggling. The attributed reason for the decrease may be due to the recent attention of the police towards that sector.
Authorities in India conducted a raid in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad which resulted in the seizure of 700 `squares’ of LSD. According to an investigation, each LSD cost Rs 3,000, summing up to Rs 21 lakh. Together with the LSD was MMDA of 35 grams worth Rs 1.4 lakh.
Mr. Sabharwal said to reporters that the arrested drug dealers purchased the narcotics from a peddler in Chicago through the Darknet marketplace: “They conducted a recce for the drug peddlers over the internet. After coming to know that some persons from Chicago were selling the drugs, they contacted them through the dark web. After the deal got finalized, the money has been sent in Bitcoins.”
An Excise official said to reporters that: “LSD is sold in tablets or in liquid form, and is known to be one of the most potent ‘mood-changing’ chemicals.”
Dark Web and Bitcoin Takes Over India
India had no legislation to prosecute users that use the Darknet to sell and purchase drugs on the online platform. This, as results called for more users to set an account on the Darknet marketplaces.
April this year, five individuals were arrested by the India authorities for shipping LSD from the United States of America through the Darknet marketplaces. It was confirmed that the 1,400 microdots were paid for, in Bitcoin.
There have been considerable steps by India to regulate Bitcoin use after it came to light that the criminal aspect of it is vast.
Even though Darknet criminals are being arrested by authorities, India turns the blame on Bitcoin which is a universal online currency. Shri R Gandhi, the Deputy governor warned against Bitcoin: “Digital currencies and crowdfunding have the potential to support criminal, anti-social activities like money laundering, terrorist funding, and tax evasion…We have to be carefully and critically watching these developments.”
India has a stiff regulation against Bitcoin, and it is deemed illegal and unrecognized by law to use Bitcoin in the country. However, there appears that some Indians still use the Bitcoin as drugs purchased from the Darknet are paid in the decentralized currency.
In a comment, an Indian showed how easy it is to use Bitcoin and Darkweb in the country:
“I ordered 20 150 mcg acid blotters from the original Silk Road. It took two months to come and it was not LSD… Still fun though. After that, I’ve ordered MDMA, LSD, DMT, Ketamine and Adderall multiple times on Silk Road 2 and Agora. After my first experience, I made sure to test all my drugs before using with a 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Interest for Bitcoins: India 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Interest for Bitcoins: World stockpile of Ehrlich reagent I had shipped to me. Fortunately, since then all the drugs I’ve received have been clean. I faced problems twice, but the vendors have always been nice enough to ship more. Delivery takes between 1-2 months.”
Drugs that get to India from the Darknet marketplaces are repackaged and sold on the local markets.