A new shocking report has emerged online suggesting that a large number of Australians show keen interest in smuggling illegal weapons into the country and purchasing them for their personal use as well.
The majority of these dealings are taking place on the dark web.
The smugglers hail from countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Asia and South America. As with most other deep web deals, the firearms and explosives purchased are being paid with cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoins are the most popular choice among hackers and people who like to make financial transactions anonymously. A similar approach has been spotted with this issue in which some buyers have paid as less as $200 to purchase pistols while automatic weapons have been sold for thousands of dollars.
The dark web has become a favored spot among the illegal arms trading community because of the intense level of anonymity it provides.
Besides, all the payments are being carried out using Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency for that matter, ensuring that the person who is making the payment cannot be traced using conventional sleuthing methods.
Australian law enforcement officials are visibly shocked by the sheer interest shown by the thousands of buyers who purchased weapons through unidentified websites.
The report first emerged from the United Nations, and they made sure to collect enough evidence in order to support their claim.
According to the report, thousands of Australians have actively participated in deals via the dark web, through which they purchased large quantities of guns of all types.
They also purchased grenades, and some of them paid to download online manuals that taught them how to make explosives at home using available ingredients.
The report further claims that an unidentified group of people has been actively accessing 12 of the most popular dark web markets. These websites sell firearms and explosives, but those are not the only items they sell.
They deal with a large number of illegal goods and it is unclear whether these buyers were also enticed to buy other items apart from guns. The dark web marketplaces offer a total of 167,000 illegal items, as confirmed by their listings.
The United Nations—powered by investigative departments from multiple countries—often engages in online weapons deals to find illegal transactions.
They opine that this is the largest-ever sales discovered in recent times, and more than 800 arms-related product deals were completed in a span of just six days throughout the country.
The numbers shock those who are involved in the task of investigating this market. They also confirmed that majority of the shipping came from the U.S., a country where selling arms is legal.
Out of more than 100,000 listings, most offered worldwide shipping to allow buyers to receive packages delivered to their doorstep.
When further delving into the report, it is confirmed that at least 11 seller listings are based in Australia whereas the majority of illegal goods are being shipped from the U.S., the U.K. and parts of Asia.
While a simple handgun—which is considered the least harmful weapon—costs about $218, the more powerful and deadlier weapons—like a sub-machine gun—costs as high as $2,495.
The investigation into the dark web dealings revealed sellers don’t ship all the metal parts together.
Instead, they ship them individually in multiple packages and provide instructions to the buyer that detail how to assemble them.
Sometimes, the shipping includes computer parts and printers to disguise the original content within. It helps evade metal detectors and other scrutiny done in airports or shipping docks.
In the recent past, police managed to uncover a terrorist plan to blast a plane flying from Sydney to Jakarta.
The latest reports related to the Australian weapons and arms market confirmed that explosives for the blast were acquired through a dark web site.
A surprising aspect in the report is that many individuals purchased a manual instructing how to print guns at home using 3-D printers for just $1.30.
Officials, in their report, add that the manuals were ubiquitously available on how to illegally make firearms and explosives at home.
However, with the arrival of the dark web, it has become much easier to buy these manuals for such cheap rates. The report concludes on this very point, and further action has been initiated.