Germany: Dutch Dark Web Drug Dealer Arrested with Drugs worth $3.5 million
Since the Munich shooting took place, German law enforcement has taken an initiative to crackdown on the dark web. They have made the dark web the new center of crime investigations. The law enforcement groups have made multiple arrests of dark web users, both single handedly and in association with other international agencies.
In the latest arrest made on November 16, German police arrested a 29-year-old Dutch man accused of running an international narcotics business from his apartment. Police and prosecutors in the western city of Wuppertal said they found 400 kilos (440 pounds) of drugs during the raid, estimated to have a street value of $3.5 million (3 million euros). The drugs seized in the raid included, ecstasy, Cannabis-laced chocolate, cocaine and amphetamine.
Investigators said the 29-year-old sold drugs over the darknet and dispatched them by mail. He sent the packages to Thailand, the United States and Australia among other destinations all over the world. The police however did not disclose from which marketplace the vendor was operating. Police are still investigating where the source of the drugs are and who else might be involved in the trade.
It is possible that law enforcement intercepted a package from the vendor and traced it back to him. According to a Frankfurt customs official Germany has seen a 232 percent increase in drug trafficking by mail, while the overall number of drugs intercepted by the customs authorities at Frankfurt airport skyrocketed by 182 percent to a total of 4,675 as a result of the sharp rise in illegal substances shipped through the post.
German law enforcements have managed to bust a number of dark web vendors this year alone. Earlier this year on May 31, six people were arrested by the Special Deployment Commando (SEK) in Aachen for selling drugs on the dark web. The arrest came after an investigation initially started by the Federal Criminal police Office (BKA) and was later handed over to the Aachen Public Prosecutors Office. Details on the suspects were first provided to the BKA by Europol after they seized a darknet marketplace in November 2014. It was assumed that since the autumn of 2015, the arrestees had sent at least 20 kilograms of amphetamine, with the total price of at least 160,000 euros, to their customers using the national postal service. After the arrest, law enforcement authorities seized computers and amphetamine in the kilogram range.
On September 19, Boris J., an ex-politician of the German Green party was arrested by law enforcement authorities for allegedly running a narcotics trafficking operation on the dark web. He had been selling drugs in various darknet marketplaces since October 2013. Investigators searched his apartment and found evidence of 6,500 single sales on the dark web, including more than 34,000 ecstasy pills and approximately 7,000 LSD blotters.
Earlier this year, German law enforcement arrested five men who were running the vendor shop, “Chemical Love” on the dark web. The police found 54 kilograms of amphetamines, 1.3 kg cocaine, 4 kg heroine and 25,000 ecstasy pills in the basement of one of the arrested men. According to the prosecution, the men had over 1,500 sales worth around 1.3 million euros.
The crackdown on the deep web by Germany has highly been motivated by the Munich shooting, since the shooter bought the weapons from a dark web vendor. The methods being used by the Germans to target dark web users seems to be working quite well for them, considering the number of arrests they have made since the crackdown started.