The police in South Korea recently arrested nine alleged darknet drug dealers.
The authorities suspected them of dealing drugs on an anonymous darknet website.
Among the suspects that the police apprehended was the website owner, whom they identified as Shin.
This suspect is the first alleged owner of a drug-dealing site in the country that the authorities have arrested.
The prosecution ordered the shutdown of the website.
The Drug Deals
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors presented a report on the dark web drug deals. They claimed that from March to November, the website had 636 users. Within that period, there had been 50 drug sales on the site.
The dealers purportedly traded a variety of drugs. They sold homemade hashish along with MDMA and LSD. The prosecutors also accused the suspects of growing cannabis.
Based on the accusations, the MDMA and LSD came from foreign countries. The prosecutors further stated that Shin also smoked marijuana.
The drug-related transactions took place in cryptocurrency, specifically DarkCoin, as named by investigators.
But, it’s worth noting that the suspects may have been using Dash, as DarkCoin changed its brand name to Dash a few years ago.
The authorities managed to assess the suspects’ transactions after accessing their mobile phones and computers.
According to the prosecutors, the transactions on the secret website had generated about 100 million Korean won, an equivalent of nearly $90,000 USD.
Currently, the police are trying to find and seize the money due to the illegal manner in which the dealers earned it.
Furthermore, the prosecutors’ report indicates that the drugs the suspects sold on this site were worth between 8 million and 10 million won.
Darknet-Related Crimes in South Korea
The South Korean authorities did not handle any darknet-related crimes until 2016.
The first-ever case involved a man named Jeong who used the dark web to buy drugs and resell the supply to international students in the country.
The police also apprehended four suspects along with Jeong and charged them with drug distribution.
In the same operation, they arrested an additional lot of 75 students whom they accused of buying the illicit drugs. Jeong allegedly sold MDMA, LSD, cocaine and marijuana to these students.
Like in the case of the nine suspects, the police confirmed their accusations after accessing Jeong’s computer.
South Korea has been facing challenges in stopping dark web and cryptocurrency crimes due to the fast rate at which the country’s technology development is growing.
The authorities have to keep up with the new tactics criminals devise to remain undetected.
The arrest of the nine suspects, hence, is a significant achievement for the country’s law enforcement, considering that they were also able to shut down the darknet site.
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