As recent developments have shown, the drug crisis in Queensland, Australia has been worsened by the easy accessibility of drugs through the dark web.
In the latest news, Australian authorities have seized drugs with a street value that runs into thousands of dollars.
The drugs, valued at $100,000, are said to have been destined for the Gold Coast—ahead of the annual Schoolies week, a celebration among high school students after their final exams.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan remarked that his team of dedicated officers have been on the lookout for drug dealers who may take advantage of the situation at the celebrations.
The recent drug bust is the outcome of a five-month operation that was centered on the role of darknet platforms in fueling the Australian drug market.
According to Jon Wacker, an operative at the Drug and Serious Crime Group, the exercise ended up in the seizure of various contraband items, including cocaine, LSD, marijuana and firearms.
Additionally, MDMA and a wide assortment of banned substances were among the items discovered by law enforcement agents.
Earlier on, authorities had established their steadfast resolve to prevent the drug menace from creeping into the Schoolies environment.
Both overt and undercover police operations progressed before and during the week of wild partying to the Gold Coast.
Among the measures used to police the coast included knowledge sharing, in which young people are cautioned against bringing contraband items from other locations.
Items such as knives, which rocked the Schoolies events in the past, are now banned, attracting heavy fines in Australia.
Restricted items that are considered as “souvenirs” will be kept out of the celebrations altogether.
Otherwise, the Australian Border Force advised travelers returning to Australia to declare items that they deem strange in order to avoid suffering heavy fines.
A Growing Darknet Reach
According to recent research, Australia is associated with a sizeable proportion of the global dark web drugs market.
Perceptions of the drug trade have, for a long time, been associated with ordinary junkies that rule the streets.
However, the drug dealers of today are mostly utilizing online platforms to ply their trade and avail narcotics to clients across jurisdictions.
Specifically, darknet markets and cryptocurrencies have been pivotal in ensuring the continuity of popular drug networks.
In highlight, the Schoolies celebrations have always been mired with cases of dark web-sourced drug use as well as other activities.
The 2015 Schoolies week
Just three years ago, news reports featured cases of drug dealers targeting teens that were out to celebrate the popular Schoolies week.
Police received information about the fact that darknet drug dealers stocked up narcotics in preparation for the annual event.
At the time, authorities made 28 arrests of persons linked to the sale of drugs online.
It was found that youths as young as 15 years old were using online aliases to sell banned drugs to Schoolies via the internet.
The 2016 celebrations
The following year, the situation was no better. In fact, a leading cybersecurity expert from Monash University had issued a warning indicating the high possibility of drug use ahead of the Schoolies week.
The expert cautioned young people against buying drugs via online platforms.
Particularly, the expert cited Craigslist to be among the platforms that young people purchase drugs, including darknet sites that have simplified the proceed of procuring drugs.
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