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Defense Forces Employee Sentenced for Selling Explosives on the Darknet

A court in Finland has sentenced a Navy 1st Lieutenant to an 18-month suspended sentence for stealing explosives from the Defense Forces and selling said explosives on the darknet. DeepDotWeb covered the case in June 2017 after Finnish Defense Forces had posed as a buyer on a darknet market in an effort to bust the person responsible for the theft of the military equipment.

One year ago, in the region of Uusimaa, Finnish police reported that they had arrested a “Defense Forces Employee” for selling explosives and ammunition that he had stolen from the Defense Forces. Someone had tipped the police off that an entity on the dark web had listed the explosives for sale on the darknet. The items had apparently matched items stolen from the Defense Forces at an unknown date. In conjunction with the Finnish Defense Forces, local police investigated the theft.

After discovering the items listed for sale on the darknet, the police and Defense Forces employees created accounts and posed as parties interested in buying explosives from the unidentified vendor. Although they had not made any announcements about the theft, they had likely concluded that only someone with inside access could have stolen several kilograms of explosives and nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition from the Defense Forces without attracting too much attention.

So, going into the case, they likely suspected a Defense Forces employee. They also likely suspected that the darknet vendor who had been advertising the explosives and the Defense Forces employee behind the theft were the same person. Given the nature of the incident, though, Finnish authorities said very little about the entire ordeal. They announced, after the employee’s arrest, that they had caught him by arranging an undercover purchase of the explosives. They arranged a price for the stolen explosives and a location where they could conduct the transaction, and arrest the vendor. The majority of readers know that weapons deals arranged on the darknet end in an arrest.

Weapons draw more attention than most drugs do. Explosives likely draw more than most firearms. However, the majority of the arrests have taken place at the scene of the crime; weapons vendors—at least the majority of the arrested vendors—almost exclusively sell to local customers. Not only that, but the dealers do not ship to local customers or utilize drops. They meet with the customer in person. The Defense Forces employee selling explosives on the darknet was not any different than the usual gun vendors covered by DeepDotWeb.

After Finnish authorities met with the vendor and purchased an unknown amount of explosives, they arrested him. After identifying him, Defense Forces employees and Finnish police searched the man’s house and found more than two kilograms of unidentified explosives and more than 700 rounds of ammunition. The employee admitted that he had stolen the explosives and the ammunition and that he had already distributed some of the stolen property to other buyers he had met on the darknet. Authorities also found an unidentified material used in production of explosives at the man’s house. They did not report that he had stolen the unspecified material, though.

The court convicted the man of numerous explosives crimes, firearm crimes, aggravated misconduct (in relation to his Defense Forces position), and aggravated embezzlement. The prosecutor asked for an 18-month suspended sentence and the court passed the same sentence down to the defendant.

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