Recently, a horticultural student from Scott Street, Perth, Scotland was charged for buying and illegally importing 250 grams of cannabis from Canada via a darknet market.
He acquired $2,500 worth of Orange bud (a particular strain of the cannabis family) on Agora when the darknet site was still operating.
Agora became one of the darknet markets where sellers anonymously trade huge amounts of dangerous and illegal drugs for bitcoins.
So successful is this trade in the shadows of the dark web, buyers on darknet markets often become too relaxed about rules and risks.
The main reason why the police could catch Kennedy so easily is because he had brazenly ordered the package directly to his home address.
When the package arrived from Canada, it was intercepted with the help of a sniffer dog.
Instead of having the postman deliver the package, the police went straight to Kennedy’s house to confront him.
One of the police officers reported that the package was opened when one of the dogs in Coventry marked it as suspicious.
Upon questioning, Kennedy revealed that he had intended to use the weed for personal consumption and sell half of it to his friends. W
hen the police came to his door, Kennedy saw no other way out and he immediately admitted to have committed the crime.
The word “agora” comes from Ancient Greece which means a gathering place.
On dark web, Agora became an online marketplace much akin to the Silk Road, but it was never affected by the Operation Onymous – the police investigation that resulted in the seizure of many darknet market operations.
Agora was launched in 2013, and operated on the Tor network.
What happens on darknet markets?
Darknet markets sell a wide variety of legal and illegal products.
From selling drugs to fake passports, foreign bank accounts, hacking techniques, weapons, spam tools and forged documents, and many others.
Buyers use Tor which gives them a cloak of invisibility in the cyber world.
And since these darknet markets operate through the exchange of bitcoins, it is even more difficult to track such operations down quickly.
While it is easy to reassure oneself that investigations like the Operation Onymous are finally winning in the fight against such illegal activities, the truth is somewhat different.
With the Silk Road Market going down, almost 13,648 drug deals went bust.
However, multiple drug markets have cropped up since to take its place.
According to previous data, most of these markets show almost 33,985 drug deals being carried out.
This shows a threefold increase in illegal activities on the darknet markets.
More than dozens of single-vendor sites have opened up where top quality products are sold.
These high quality cocaine, cannabis and LSD are sold to invited guests only, which means that it is even more difficult nowadays for authorities to track criminals down.
Before when bitcoin was still a new phenomenon, using this online currency to buy drugs from the darknet markets was a very rare activity – something that only few elites would be capable of.
Now these operations are becoming more commonplace. Part of this has also been facilitated by the steady growth of ecommerce.
Many users state that buying drugs online has become very safe, secure, quick and convenient.
Logging into the darknet markets for drugs is a more favorable option than buying such illegal items offline.
On the bright side, successful investigations like the Operation Onymous and the increasing number of arrests have dealt a severe blow to the feelings of invincibility that operators of darknet markets once had.
When the Silk Road shut down, traders were less confident and more cautious to not make any mistakes.
The fact that the authorities are catching up with the criminals on dark web is a proof of vulnerability in the system.