Teenagers Apprehended in Bitcoin Drug Ring Over the Dark Web in Dublin, Ireland
While there are many advantages and benefits that cryptocurrency has brought the world there are a number of downsides and one of these is the use of cryptocurrency for the purposes of committing crime.
This has been an issue as law enforcement around the world has reported more incidents of scams, crypto being used for illegal activity and so on and while there is more knowledge about crypto and thus, more chances of such crimes being persecuted, the menace continues.
One of the most recent crypto crimes that have been uncovered is a drug smuggling ring whose kingpin had been taking advantage of teenagers as young as 14 to store large amounts of narcotics that had been purchased over the dark Web.
According to reports, the kingpin ran an enterprise that distributed various drugs in the West Dublin area which included cocaine, MDMA and ketamine.
Recently a 17-year-old boy was arrested over with over $682,000 work of ecstasy that was seized at Lucan postal center and he is believed to be a holder for a drug dealer that was paid off for the purpose. The teenager was later released without charge.
However, he is far from the only one involved in this operation as local authorities said that there are dozens of young people in various areas within Ireland that are holding drugs on behalf of these crime syndicate in a bid to reduce legal risk and take some of the repercussions of them.
Crypto, the Dark Web, and Drugs
This highlights yet another issue that is ongoing in the industry which is the cryptocurrencies are being used heavily for criminal purposes over the dark web. The dark web is a section of the internet that is not accessible via traditional browsers and needs specialized software to access.
The dark web offers a great deal of anonymity and has created a breeding ground for the sale of drugs, human trafficking, and other criminal activities. While the advent of cryptocurrency meant that payments were easier for legitimate users, it also created a new avenue by which criminals could make their payments without getting caught as in a case like this where the drugs were reportedly purchased with cryptocurrency.
However, there is an ongoing crackdown on the dark web as international police disrupted two of their most prolific drug markets in a series of raids around the globe and seized roughly $600,000 in cash as well as cryptocurrencies such as monero and bitcoin.
This goes to show that cryptocurrency has found a great deal of use on the dark web for this purpose as it was reported that the use of bitcoin over the dark web doubled in 2018 compared to 2017 and shows no signs of stopping him with all the raids taking place.
There is a debate about whether this will affect the overall reputation of cryptocurrencies or whether it is an inevitable side effect that cannot be removed from the overall equation.
For now, the drug ring in Dublin is being investigated by local authorities as well as narcotics squads who are being joined by Ireland's national Bureau of criminal investigation, the Garda national drugs, and the organized crime Bureau.
Should these criminals be apprehended, it could shed more light on just how far-reaching their activities on the dark web are and what role cryptocurrency played in the activities.