Police in New South Wales, Australia brought to book a 28-year-old man who used darknet markets to buy illegal firearms.
The man, who was identified as Hai Po Zhang, is said to have posted his selfie along with a sign of his name and signature, which the police analyzed only to find they were his true identity.
The police arrested the young man at a park in Sydney, where he allegedly went to collect an illegal firearm he had purchased on the dark web.
Zhang posted his picture plus other personal details online in a bid of identifying himself to a digital currency exchange platform that he would later use to pay for the illegal firearms.
Zhang’s Activities on the Dark Web
According to the police report, Zhang opened an online cryptocurrency wallet to pay for the illegal guns.
However, it is not yet clear what the suspect intended to use the powerful firearms for.
Some of the products he ordered included a Glock, an AK-47 and an Uzi Micro rifle.
Understanding the risk of the business, Zhang used a pseudonym “silly112” in the darknet market to pay for the illegal firearms.
As the case unfolded, the police affirmed that Zhang arranged with the gun seller to meet at Sydney’s Bicentennial Park to collect the package.
However, the police were informed of the dealing and managed to intercept the sale beforehand.
Zhang is said to have produced a security token from the darknet market as an identity confirmation.
According to the police prosecutor, the cryptocurrency account was alleged to be used to pay for the firearms.
A total of $10,070 worth of cryptocurrency was paid out for the said firearms that Zhang ordered.
But Zhang’s lawyer, Chris Eliopoulos, argued that there are possibilities that his client was buying the weapons for another person and not for his purposes.
This was not the only accusation that the police have made against Zhang.
After investigators analyzed his online communication, they accused him with intentions of importing drugs via the codename “bricks.”
Zhang has requested for a bail and offered to pay $1 million to be granted house arrest.
The magistrate in charge of the case declined to accept the request as the allegations towards him were too severe.
Accordingly, the suspect will be held in police custody until the case is finally ruled.
Australia & the Dark Web
Just as other developed countries, Australia is facing similar problems of cybercrime propagated through the dark web.
It is a 21st-century menace that has caught global law enforcement with a lot of surprises.
Australians are engaging themselves with dark web activities as anonymity is highly guaranteed.
Just with a batch of tools, a regular computer user is capable of accessing darknet markets and acquiring illegal goods easily.
Law enforcement in Australia have been working to curb these activities by intercepting darknet operations in action.
But, the amount of darknet crime affecting Australia is increasing rapidly.
Last year, an Australian website surfaced that claimed to deliver all sorts of drugs hassle-free.
After a close probing by law enforcement investigators, they came to find out there were more markets like it advertising similar offerings.
Just recently, a United Nations report found that thousands of Australians are buying firearms and other weapons from darknet sites.
And last month, another report found that Australia has the second-highest concentration of darknet drug dealers per capita, following the United States.
The report showed that Australia is experiencing a significant influx of dark web users who are going for drugs sold online.
Though a growing trend among nations worldwide, the report shows the magnitude of darknet users originating from Australia.
Australia has set up different agencies to fight darknet crime; the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is mandated to manage all prospective cyber threats in the country.
More so, they are to cooperate with the police ranging from the anti-narcotics unit, border patrol unit and the postal services to mitigate dark web activities.
In this case regarding Hai Po Zhang, the police did not have a hard time searching for the suspect as all the details were posted online.
For Zhang, he was following the set of security protocols he considered fit to receive the ordered goods.
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