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Guardia Civil Bust Former Alphabay Pistol Vendor

With assistance from Europol, Spain’s Guardia Civil arrested a 24-year-old firearm vendor who had sold on Alphabay, along with other darknet matters that allowed weapon listings. In 2017, he had already distributed guns to 30 buyers in 11 countries. The Guardia Civil service called him one of the biggest weapon vendors on the darknet.

The Spanish national found himself at the center of an international investigation into online weapon buyers and sellers. Europol’s investigation involved police and customs authorities from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, Sweden, and Spain. More than 30 firearms were seized during the investigation, along with spare gun parts and ammunition.

Europol claimed that the vendor used Alphabay until US authorities seized the marketplace. “He was one of the largest and best known firearms vendors on the Darknet and took strict measures to avoid being identified by law enforcement,” Europol wrote in their press release.

The operation netted seven suspects, including the vendor himself. The Guardia Civil arrested the vendor and one buyer in Spain. The Zollkriminalamt (ZKA) arrested three buyers in Germany. Cyprus police and law enforcement in Sweden each arrested a buyer. Europol orchestrated the operation, but other countries aided in the investigation of arrest. The United States Homeland Security Investigations helped with the case but, as of Europol’s announcement, had not made any arrests.

In a similar method used by many vendors in Russia, the 24-year-old turned many non-lethal weapons, such as gas pistols, into fully functioning firearms. Gas pistols, such as those used in many countries with strict firearm laws, often shoot cartridges of tear gas. The guns are very similar to “real” firearms, save for heavy modifications that ensure the owner cannot easily fire live, lethal ammunition from the gun.

Law enforcement found a so-called “professional workshop” in the suspect’s garage where three reconstruction occurred. Europol said the vendor replaced the barrels and removed the serial numbers on the guns while in his workshop. In the workshop, he had also prepared the guns for shipment by concealing them in packages that would pass through security checks.

“This operation is a successful hit against one of the biggest firearms traffickers on the darknet, with his actions severely endangering the lives of others,” Europol outlined in their press release. Two gun buyers were connected to murders, although whether or not his weapons were used in those murders remained unspecified. One buyer committed suicide with a pistol purchased from the vendor.

Europol pointed to the successful collaboration between the police and customs for part of the investigation. In one scenario, the exchange of information between United Kingdom customs and law enforcement agencies led to a successful package interception(s). Europol also thanked themselves for successfully helping other countries catch buyers.

8 comments

  1. HOGWASH! BALDERDASH! BALONEY! …. there were no legit gun-sellers on ABM…nor are there any other such on any other,current DNM…
    90% scammers….the rest: under-cover coppers!
    the last time there were any such was 2013-2014 …. the old Silk Road/Black Market (re-loaded)
    only scammers and under-cover coppers ‘selling’….only dupes and fools ‘buying’
    BELIEVE it!

    • What are you on about?

      This was GusTheoctopus

      • the phantom

        never heard of him…. and… i was on ABM for over two yrs until it got yanked….
        he may have been on there…but…i missed him….
        i ‘checked out’ a lot of gun-sellers on ABM and 99% of them were obvious phonies….wouldn’t supply genuine, convincing pix …or agree to third party multi-sig….most wanted FE….
        the two biggest ‘gun-sellers’ on there (old ABM members will know who i’m referring to) were either cops or feds…..
        one of them would refer you to a ‘local’ dealer in yr country and lo! and behold!….that ‘dealer’ would only agree to a sale if you ‘met up’ …. wht’s that tell you, eh?

      • veronique

        I feel the same – recognizing pictures. He was nice and honest guy.
        Or hope it was just some reseller.

  2. The market is prime for a connected American to get used guns from the usual sources and flog online.

    • the phantom

      the guns would never get through the i/national mail….
      that’s where the whole enterprise falls in a heap!

      • Can they be stealthed by concealment in side of a steel box?

        Oh and local gun sales mixed with buried containers with GPS cords and bought with BTC solves the mail issue. The distribution model needs changed from using mail systems.

        • the phantom

          pffft!

          there’s a good reason that professional criminal gangs and mafia-types set up entire shipping operations to smuggle guns and ‘what-not’ in via sea-tainers and that…its that the chance of getting caught is minimal … b’cs its too hard to check an entire sea-tainer and b’cs the overwhelming majority of Customs surveillance is focussed on air-ports and stuff coming in via Air Mail/i-national post/surface post….

          most countries have hundreds of thousands if not millions of sea-tainers going through their ports per annum….and…only a fraction are checked….but…they’re monitoring i/national mail (both air and surface) all the time….
          (except for diplomatic mail, of course…but…in that case, you’d need ‘contacts’ in consulates etc…)

          its a total no-brainer…

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