Anybody can buy a product listed on the darknet marketplace. This is despite that a majority of the products listed in these online black markets include banned drugs, contraband, stolen identities, etc.
However, recent reports suggest that some of these platforms have started to pull out dangerous listings.
One such example is Darknet Heroes League, a popular darknet marketplace that has completely banned the sale of fentanyl and its variants through its website.
There has been a steep increase in the number of deaths related to overdose of fentanyl in the last couple of years.
It is also true that the drug authorities are becoming more aware of the emerging connection between the darknet markets and the fentanyl-related overdose deaths.
Furthermore, it has been observed that opioid products are increasingly being laced with fentanyl and variants such as carfentanyl or ocfentanil.
There has been a 600% increase in the number of fentanyl-related deaths in some parts of the world.
In the light of these developments, a representative of the AlphaBay Market was recently reported to be hawking a vendor account to anybody that would only sell harm-reduction products like Narcan.
In August, another Reddit user offered up to 675 free doses of Narcan (on a darknet market platform) to opiate users.
This has been done with a view to protect opioid users’ health and life, and many other darknet markets are also beginning to do the same, sources say.
There are other groups in the darknet marketplace that buy drugs from vendors and test them for purity.
One of the popular darknet markets to follow suit is the Darknet Heroes League (DHL), which has recently banned the sale of fentanyl and its related analogues in the marketplace.
Vendors that sold fentanyl or its analogues on the Darknet Heroes League marketplace were asked to remove the product listings within a 48-hour period from the time the notice was put up.
The notice warned that the vendors would be stripped of their ability to sell if they failed to comply.
Fentanyl is a product that is found in many drugs. It is a synthetically manufactured opioid that is hundreds of times more potent than morphine.
It has caused deaths of users in many cases when they overdose and also when peddlers sell the drug as something else.
According to DEA, there have been over 700 fentanyl-related overdoses in the period 2013 to 2014.
Also, there has been an influx of toxic opioids in the drugs market recently. Canadian drug authorities recently intercepted 1 kg of carfentanyl.
Last May, DEA officials seized a consignment of 2.5 kg of fentanyl in Connecticut.
They believed that the drug was from China and would eventually make it to the darknet marketplaces.
There were reports that a darknet vendor made at least $500,000 from selling fentanyl alone.
AlphaBay Market has many listings of fentanyl. Some vendors are even known to offer extra fentanyl as a bonus every time the drug is purchased.
Many users have been skeptical about the ban by the Darknet Heroes League as they claim that even regular opioids are laced with fentanyl.
While fentanyl or its analogues cannot be sold directly, there is nothing in the rules that prevents unscrupulous vendors from selling heroin or cocaine mixed with fentanyl, and this is a worrisome trend.