It appears that there is an international crackdown on darknet marketplaces trading cryptocurrencies for recreational drugs. Soon after American undercover agents exposed dozens of vendors, European forces conducted what Europol calls “Europe’s biggest ever LSD bust.”
“Europe’s Biggest Ever LSD Bust”
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), formerly known as the European Police Office and Drugs Unit, has revealed that Spain’s Guardia Civil and Austria’s Federal Police have raided a network producing and selling drugs on the Darknet. Over 100 different types of psychoactive substances were seized in two labs, including almost 800,000 doses of LSD, making this the biggest ever LSD bust in the EU according to Europol.
The group was also allegedly laundering its profits by selling cryptocurrencies. In total, over four and a half million euros worth of cryptos (mostly BTC, but also IOTA and lumen) were seized by law enforcement. Besides the drugs and crypto haul, eight people were arrested and the authorities also seized a €1.6 million bank account, €700,000 in fiat cash, three real estate properties and ten luxury cars.
Two of the Best Darknet Sites
Boasting about the operation, Europol says that two of the Darknet sites managed by the group were the most known in the world and enjoyed a great reputation among buyers. The group offered the drugs exclusively through Darknet markets where access was restricted only to invited users redirected from online forums.
According to the accusations, the group had been operating in Spain since 2012. It imported the raw materials from Asian countries, mainly China, and had a main production lab in Amsterdam. The two labs in Spain were in charge of packaging and distributing the drugs to the final consumer. Deliveries were sent to buyers in more than 100 different countries around the world, containing narcotic substances camouflaged as other products, such as additives for cement. Among the psychoactive substances on sale were: synthetic cannabinoids, depressants, dissociatives, stimulants such as amphetamines or cathinones, nootropics, psychedelics and synthetic opiates.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Europol.
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