The dark web once used to be a place where anonymity was virtually guaranteed, and internet criminals got away with just about anything. But that is no longer the case, as more and more people get arrested for their illicit activities. Moreover, using Bitcoin as a payment method is not helping to hide tracks, as three Irish men have found out the hard way.
Although the involvement of these three men has yet to be proven, police officials have evidence linking them to a major deep web drugs operation. Additionally, it appears the three ran a scheme involved couriers used to deliver MDMA and other illegal substances to addresses all over Northern Ireland.
Deep Web Users Are Not Anonymous When Accepting Bitcoin
When the police raid took place, several types of drugs were confiscated. In total, all of the items obtained during this investigation are worth over £100,000. It . these three individuals ran their deep web scheme between January 2014 and August 2015. However, they may have been conducting this business for a longer period as well.
Interestingly enough, the evidence seems to indicate they purchased the drugs from the deep web with the intent of redistributing it. Even while using Bitcoin, these three men could not hide their tracks.. Many people still think Bitcoin is an anonymous currency, yet the opposite is true. Just because a Bitcoin transaction does not include a name or address does not mean it is anonymous by any means.
Hiding the drugs was a challenge for these three men, and they resorted to using jigsaw puzzles most of the time. Packages were sent out via couriers, who would then deliver goods across Northern Ireland. This method allowed them to run the scheme for several months without raising suspicion.
The police also managed to obtain a list of customer names, email addresses, and addresses. This is one of the biggest problems when dealing with deep web marketplace vendors. One never knows if they are keeping a copy of their order books somewhere, which can be used to implicate customers at the time of an arrest.
For now, the trio has been released on continuing bail. A date for their arraignment has yet to be announced. All three men face jail time of up to several years. Charges include dealing drugs, as well as having the intent to distribute.