City of London Police Cyber Crime Unit in the UK have arrested a dark web drug vendor from Loughton confiscating over $400,000 worth of cocaine after a raid at his home.
The 49-year-old man from Loughton, Essex, was under investigation on the dark web markets where illegal drugs, weapons, counterfeit, firearms, and other illegal goods and services were offered. After gathering intelligence for months, the Cyber Crime Unit from the City of London Police suspected him of manufacturing, packaging, selling illegal drugs on dark web marketplaces. He was also suspected of laundering money using virtual currencies.
After obtaining a search warrant, police officers raided the suspect’s home in September and discovered large quantities of drugs, a firearm, and cash. Over $15,000 in cash was seized together with cocaine, an undisclosed amount of marijuana, two cocaine presses, and a stun gun.
The United Kingdom has been on the forefront in all dark web investigation efforts, which seem to bear fruit. More particularly, the London police officers have been making dark web arrests often enough demonstrating that the dark web is not as anonymous as most people think.
According to Inspector Robinson Gary, a detective from the City of London Police Cyber Crime Unit, the suspect had been on the police radar for relatively a long time. “The vendor enjoyed a good reputation on the dark web and anybody enjoying such status on the dark web will be investigated as we have noticed that most of these venders are the kingpins,” he said.
“The large quantities of drugs and the two pill presses seized at his home confirm that the drugs were not for personal use but for sale. His drug operation seems to move big consignments of cocaine and it appears that he was in the process of scaling back his operations even further after he has intentionally and successfully avoided attention for quite a long time,” he continued.
“The illegal consignments are shipped across the border after being procured online on the dark web,” said Inspector Robinson Gary. “Our results were excellent since it was a very complicated and lengthy investigation by a dedicated Cyber Crime Unit. Even though this dark web investigation is relatively a new area to the police, we here in the city have focused on training our police on how to investigate dark web crimes, how to collect and preserve electronic evidence, being innovative in finding solutions, as well as, how to better work collaboratively with the bounder patrol police.”
The suspect is facing multiple charges for importation and possession with intent to distribute class A illegal drugs, possession of an unsilenced firearm and money laundering. These charges in the UK are associated with a hefty prison sentence and fines without limit.
The suspect was released on bail. He is expected to appear again in court at a later date.
According to Inspector Robinson, a dozen more darknet vendors are being investigated, and sooner or later they will demonstrate that the dark web is no longer a hiding place. “Efforts are also underway to see improvement about the efficiency of such investigations,” he concluded.