A Utrecht young man convicted by a Netherlands court for conducting an international dark web drug trafficking ring online and for money laundering through virtual currencies will have to pay 300k to the state. Apart from sentencing, the court has ordered that the defendant pay at least 300,000 euros to the country after determining the turnover of his illegal business.
The 25-year-old man from Utrecht was charged for multiple counts involving international drug trafficking on dark web marketplaces, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, online procurement of drugs and importation using postal services, and money laundering using digital currencies. He was convicted and sentenced by the Central Netherlands District Court early in January this year (2018) to 6 years in prison for the offenses.
During the hearing, the chief prosecutor filed an application to have the virtual currency profits made by the defendant in the international dark web drug trade confiscated and paid to the state. The Central Netherlands District Court, after asking for further insight into the exact amount of money transacted in the business, has now determined that the online drug trafficker must pay 300k of the profits to the state.
“With the online drug trade, the defendant had a total turnover of around 600k in profits made between January 2014 and November 2016 and hence will pay 300k to the state,” the Central Netherlands District Court reported on Wednesday. In determining the amount to pay, the court examined and analyzed the financial state of the defendant and the annual turnover he made. In the investigation, the turnover was around 600,000 euros and, after deducting all the purchases and business costs for transport and packaging, the remaining amount was approximately 300,000 euros, which the defendant must pay.
International Dark Web Drug Trafficking, 48 Countries
According to the investigating agents involved in the case, the defendant had been conducting an international illegal drug business from early 2014 to late 2016 on dark web markets using cryptocurrencies. He procured and imported large consignments of narcotics, which he repackaged, shipped and distributed to his potential customers on the dark web using bitcoins as his only acceptable mode of payment.
In November 2016, he sold and repackaged drugs from a rented house which he had converted into a storage and packaging center. The defendant was also found to have traded and exported hundreds of kilos of marijuana and hard drugs to more than 48 countries within six months.
Just as drastic as the internet has transformed most aspects of our life, it has also revolutionized criminal activities in the world. Drug dealers and users no longer trade drugs on the streets due to the high risk involved, nor do they need to meet their customers in person to trade. They can simply open a dark web site using a special browser, the Onion Router(Tor), select their choice of drugs from a long list of sellers from a drop-down menu, leave an address, pay in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins, place the order, and wait indoors for the drug packages to be delivered by mail.