Law enforcement agents from across the world have continually been exposed to focused simulated trainings to enable them investigate and combat darknet crime.
But, what if the dark web buyer happens turns out to be an officer of the law?
The case involving an ex-police officer who was charged with double murder took an interesting twist as the court learned that the accused had used the dark web for a rather familiar purpose.
The second day of trial for the defendant was marked with the new information in which prosecutors in a Luxembourg City court revealed that the suspect had used the password “Geldgail” (which means “money hungry”) for an account he opened in a dark web forum four years ago.
The Double Murder
According to evidence presented in court, the accused phoned emergency services after his sister and her spouse had lost consciousness. The defendant explained that the two persons were in serious condition owing to their labored breathing.
Resuscitation efforts bore no fruits as the pair died in Bereldange in 2016. Expectedly, no foul play had been considered at the time.
Investigative efforts that followed the two deaths led to the implication of the defendant in this case. The days following their deaths involved autopsies that showed that both victims had died from cyanide poisoning. The accused, who served as a policemen at the time, was duly apprehended.
The court examined an investigative report that lifted the lid on the timeline of events leading to the suspect’s arrest. According to the timeline, the defendant is said to have conducted online searches in June 2016 using the words “deadly poisons”, “ways to kill someone”, and “the perfect murder method”.
The above online searches were reportedly made three months before the two murders and, in highlight, the accused went on to create an account on a dark web forum. Investigators intimated that the ex-policeman had used the forum to source for the poison that killed his sister and the husband.
In addition, apart from the poison that was purchased sometime in August 2016, the suspect is said to have used the darknet to buy drugs in September 2016. The events occurred before the suspect contacted his sister on September 20 – to propose a dinner date with the couple five days later.
The investigator in the case also provided analytical information into the defendant’s overall darknet activities in order to establish trends associated with the case. According to their findings, a sum of 48 online addressed were identified although only one platform proved relevant to the murder case.
The forum in question is said to have been used by the accused to plan his murder. The defendant had posted a question on the site about the right poison that’s difficult to detect in an autopsy. The question was followed by another incriminating query – where can he order such a poison?
The court heard that the defendant may have been a member of the darknet site since August 2016, and conducted two transactions on the platform to procure one unit of poison and two units of banned drugs.
It is further reported that the website used by the suspect was effectively closed in July 2017 in a high-level anti-darknet operation, and authorities accessed information from Germany that a vendor had been selling cyanide. The accused person confirmed to the court that he had purchased items from the said seller.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) responded to the above confession by serving the court with details concerning the transaction that occurred between the ex-policeman and the darknet vendor.
The trial is still ongoing.