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Prosecutor Demands over Nine Years Sentence for a Dark Web Weapons Platform Operator

Prosecutors in the case of the Munich, Karlsruhe killing spree in 2016 have submitted an application before court demanding a jail sentence of more than nine years for a suspect linked to the incidence. The defendant, in this case, was arrested for selling firearms suspected to have been used in the killings. He is also facing an extra charge for selling narcotics on dark web marketplaces.

The 31-year-old defendant, according to the investigation, was the founder, administrator, and operator of a dark web marketplace where he had been trading unlicensed weapons and illegal drugs online using virtual currency. The use of the dark web and cryptocurrencies by criminals to anonymously conduct their illicit activities online is on the rise. This has been linked to the strictness by law enforcers on the ground which has made it difficult for arms and drug dealers to trade their commodities on the streets.

The office of the public prosecutor, in a statement read by the Chair of Specialized Cybercrime Prosecution in Mannheim before the Karlsruhe District Court on Wednesday, is demanding a jail sentence of more than nine years and six months for the defendant on conviction.

According to the filed court records, the accused had been working as a founder, administrator, and moderator of a hidden online marketplace on the dark web known as ‘Germany in the Deep Web’ (GiDW). On the encrypted platform, he sold controlled substances, unsilenced weapons, and ammunition to unsilenced personnel.

The investigating detectives have succeeded to link him through evidence to the Munich kills in July 2016. He is believed to have supplied the weapons used. “This is a new ground of law,” said the specialized cybercrime prosecutor, “The defendant created a state of anarchy and its payback time. He must be made to pay dearly by adhering to prescribed consequences.”

The 31-year-old dark web vendor is facing multiple charges for violation of both the Narcotics Act and Arms Act by conducting illegal business activities. “By laying an illegal establishment on the dark web markets is a crime, not forgetting the sale of illicit drugs and weapons. He should be made to carry the burden of crimes committed as a result of his wrong decisions,” continued the Mannheim prosecutor.

In July 2016, a gunman from Marburg, Hesse sold an automatic pistol to a teenager who shot and killed ten people and later shot himself at Olympia shopping center, Munich. Others were injured in the incident. The 33-year-old gunman was given a seven-year jail term in January 2018.

The court files indicate that the defendant intentionally shut down his dark web platform immediately after the Paris terrorist attack and reactivated it later in January. The court documents further allege that the accused went offline after realizing the possibility of the illegally sold weapons being misused by drug traffickers and determined terrorists. “He was well aware of the potential danger of illegally acquired guns but choose to be ignorant.”

In a raid by the police at his apartment in June last year, different categories of weapons and illegal drugs were seized, which have formed part of the evidence. At the time his platform was shut down by the cybercrime unit, the illegal dark web market had registered over 23,000 active users. He has admitted to operating a dark web market dealing with drugs but has denied anything to do with the arms trade. He has been in custody since his arrest.



One comment

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