Australian facing up to 25 years in prison for buying drugs using crypto

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A Western Sydney man was charged for allegedly attempting to import a variety of illicit drugs, purportedly by acquiring them on the deep web with crypto.

According to an Aug. 29 Australian Federal Police announcement, the 23-year-old man faced the court on the day of the publication for his alleged attempt to import a number of drugs. Per the announcement, those drugs were acquired through deep web black markets and concealed in a variety of items, including cookware, toy cars and a blackjack set.

The investigation began when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers in New South Wales intercepted three packages. The first contained 133 MDMA tablets, 100 oxycodone tablets, and 97 nitazene analogue tablets. The rest held 60g of MDMA, 25g of ketamine, 15g of methamphetamine, and 14g of heroin.

Upon discovering these packages, the ABF alerted local law enforcement, leading to the execution of a warrant at the Greenfield Park address where the parcels were intended to be delivered. During the operation, authorities seized various items, including kitchen scales and spoons with white residue, zip lock bags, and a counterfeit ID card.

Police allege that the defendant engaged in encrypted communications with two individuals in the UK, who assisted him in importing controlled substances into Australia.

The defendant appeared in court on May 20 and was charged with one count of attempting to import a marketable quantity of border-controlled drugs, carrying a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

ABF Superintendent Asha Patwardhan claimed that no “suspicious parcel” is immune from “officer intuition.”

Officer training and intuition are key pillars in being able to detect illicit substances at our border, no matter how sophisticated the concealment method may be. […[ Thanks to collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we have managed to remove a cocktail of drugs off our streets and prevent this criminal syndicate from further operating in our backyard.

Asha Patwardhan | ABF Superintendent

Darknet black markets are online marketplaces that operate on the unindexed part of the internet known as the deep web.

These markets are designed to facilitate the buying and selling of illegal or illicit goods and services, such as drugs, stolen data, counterfeit documents, and malware.

Transactions on these markets are almost exclusively conducted using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR) to maintain anonymity and avoid detection by law enforcement.

These black markets have become a popular destination for criminals looking to profit from illegal activities due to their anonymity and unregulated nature.

They oversee billions of dollars in transactions, primarily involving drugs, hacking services, and illegally acquired personal data.

However, it’s important to note that while some products sold on these markets may be legal in certain jurisdictions, the majority of the offerings are illegal.

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