Arrests Jun 16, 2020

German Authorities Arrest Top Darknet Vendor

German investigators have arrested a man believed to be among the top 20…

A team of investigators from the German Customs Investigations Office apprehended one of the most notable figures in dark web commerce – a 42-year-old German national who is said to have dealt in the selling of an assortment of drugs while using a pseudonym.

The arrest, which occurred in May 2020, was reported via a press release that intimated that German authorities had caught up with the Hamburg resident who is said to be among the top 20 darknet vendors in the country.

It turns out that the accused had shipped massive amounts of drugs per week during his career – with sales involving marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy and amphetamine.

The Investigation

The suspect’s arrest was the product of a massive campaign incorporating various entities from the customs investigation office and support personnel from other law enforcement agencies. It is reported that investigators conducted searches on residences and commercial properties in Hamburg.

The outcomes of the operation led to the seizure of drugs and electronic storage devices, including other forms of criminal evidence.

Point to note, the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office played a major role in the apprehension of the suspect. The office had directed the law enforcement agencies involved to track down the suspect in the case.

It was resolved that mail items, which were sent by the suspect, be seized – the police were directed to confiscate all packages that would be dropped off by the target.

Further, a series of prolonged and sophisticated investigations by the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office and the customs investigation office lifted the lid on darknet platforms that were associated with the suspect.

In addition, investigations revealed the payment methods used by the suspect’s drug operation, whose transactions were made in the form of cryptocurrency. This also included the destination for drugs sent by the suspect to locations across European countries.

A Darknet-Dependent Drug Business

A combination of active surveillance, package interception and the study of digital evidence helped the law enforcement law enforcement agencies to evaluate the significance of a highly robust dark web-supported drug business.

According to investigators, the accused person sent between 300 and 400 shipments of assorted drugs every other week. These packages were sent in response to online orders places by interested buyers on the suspect’s dark web shop.

Just to highlight popularity of the business, investigators noted “thousands of positive reviews” from customers in a number of dark web sites. This observation indicated that the suspect had amassed quite a following within the drugs business owing to his vast years of experience selling banned illicit substances via the darknet.

The Arrest

Eventually, German authorities concluded the investigation by searching the suspect’s residence and making the high-profile arrest.

Reportedly, on the D-day, officers from the Hamburg Customs Investigations Office caught the man red handed as he was loading packages into his vehicle. It turned out that the 180 letters, which were destined for the post office, contained an assortment of illicit drugs – including marijuana, cocaine and amphetamine.

A raid on the rooms rented by the suspect led the authorities to discover the suspected drug vendor’s production unit where he packaged the drugs before they were shipped to clients across in Germany and across international borders.

At this point, German authorities have not provided further information on the case. Instead, they have intimated that they are still working on the investigation to unearth the buyers who have been benefitting from the drug operation.

The computer hardware that was seized from the suspect, including a financial probe into the drug transactions is expected to provide the much-needed answers concerning the full scale of the man’s drug business.

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