Police in Austria have arrested a 24-year-old man, the leader of a dark web drug ring. The suspect was in charge of a group of drug dealers supplying locals all across Austria, with the post as the main method of delivery. In total over hundreds of sales were made netting close to 300,000 Euros.
On the darknet, the suspect used the following names: Uncle Sam, Joker and AustriaNarcos. He focused his efforts for clients from Europe but more specifically within Austria. Police officers said that investigations are still ongoing and they are following leads of about 400 suspects said to have ordered drugs from the young man. This concludes that there is a client list in possession of the authorities and this case will only continue to grow with time.
The drugs delivered by the young man were coming from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. He mostly ordered cannabis, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Once the drugs were delivered, they were packaged and sent to their local clients. They were usually sent via post. The authorities also said that he has been running the business since 2016, all online.
When police conducted a raid on the suspect’s premises, they found weapons, 11.5 kg of drugs and thousands in euros.
Three members of the group were arrested, none identified by name. Only their gang status was revealed to the public, the main suspect was the ring leader and arrested were his direct deputy and a random drug transporter.
The three were later arraigned in court. The leader of the group was sentenced to six years in prison. His deputy was given a sentence of seven years in prison. Their accomplice was given a sentence of 8 months in prison.
According to the police report, this bust was an enormous success for all law enforcement involved.
“This case shows our zeal for pursuing and arresting criminal gangs operating on the darknet. They may think they are anonymous but we have the skill to pursue them and bring them to justice. Anonymity on the dark web is an illusion. We will locate and prosecute all drug traffickers who set up shop on these marketplaces. These arrests show our commitment towards this. There are more arrests to come. We need more specialized officers to help us arrest these criminals.”
Austria has set up an investigative arm within their police force that specifically deals with dark web trafficking using postal service. Perhaps this explains why there has been an increase in the number of arrests made by the police. According to a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), over 30,000 drug related cases were processed in Austria last year.
In the same report, it was revealed that drug abuse within Austria was prevalent among young people between the ages of 15 to 34. The report also stated that Cannabis, MDMA, Amphetamines and Cocaine were the most commonly abused drugs in the country. These drugs come from Europe, as none are produced in Austria.
Austrian police have the tendency to wait months before making an arrest. One such Austrian was sentenced in 2017 for ordering darknet drugs. After making an order, he noticed that the package hadn’t arrived and went on to order another package of amphetamine. This too did not arrive and this time he ordered a third package of speed. Custom officials in Vienna were the ones who intercepted all three orders. The judge was told that it was a barely a year before the 25-year-old man had appeared before the courts. It was found that he was suffering from drug addiction. The young man was given a sentence of 18 months in an inpatient therapy center.
In yet another case in Austria, two young men were arrested recently. Authorities revealed that they had known the whereabouts of these young men and had enough intel about their drug trade. The duo had ordered drugs form the darknet and had them delivered to six different locations. At first it was hard for investigators to track them but they finally caught up with the culprits. After this, the police watched them closely for about six months before conducting a raid on their apartment.