How is the drug trade on the Dark Web strengthening its roots in the US and Europe

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How is the drug trade on the Dark Web

Torrez seems to be a typical shopping website with thousands of products for sale. The website also includes customer comments and ratings, as well as delivery information and payment methods. However, there was a difference between the products sold on other shopping websites and the products sold on Tories. Heroin, cocaine, blue pineapple, ecstasy pills and other such drugs are not found on the popular shopping websites ‘Amazon’ or ‘eBay’ but the case of Tories is a bit different.

Until a few weeks ago, the Tories were the only place in the Dark Web Market where you could contact people who were buying and selling drugs, counterfeit currency, hacking tools, and the like. It was one of the most popular dark web markets in the world, The Radio 4 program, we made a program on Tories to buy ecstasy pills from a UK drug dealer, which we succeeded in doing.

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It was an eye-opening experience

It is widely believed that buying drugs on the Dark Web is as easy as ordering pizza, but it took hours to use cryptocurrency and use secret language to communicate with drug dealers and retailers. The ‘Super Strong’ pills reached us in a few days as promised.

These three Ecstasy tablets were packaged in a big box and sent to us. This method of “secret packaging” was adopted so that no one would suspect. Cocaine purchased from another drug dealer came with a fake receipt stating the name of a company selling herbs.

The United Nations estimates that drugs sold on the dark market account for a very small portion of their global trade, perhaps less than one percent. However, it is gradually increasing.
But a global survey last year painted a very different picture.

One in four drug users in the United States and Canada said they buy their drugs from the Dark Web, compared to one in six in Europe and Oceania. The figure was 86 percent in Russia, 40 percent in Finland and Sweden, and more than 30 percent in England, Scotland and Poland.

English-language drug markets on the Dark Net have declined over the past year, but their business value has risen by 14%, according to the UK’s National Crime Agency. The cocaine we bought was accompanied by a receipt, apparently issued by a herbalist.

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The world of drugs on the Dark Web is constantly evolving and changing

Sometimes drug dealers disappear with buyers’ money and websites shut down. This process is called exit scheme. Sometimes they are hacked and sometimes the police stop them. But there is also a method used to delete a website called ‘sunset’ or ‘voluntary retirement’.

That’s what the White House Market and Kenazan did last year. Then last month it was the turn of the Tories, who posted a note before shutting down their website, saying, “Many of you are happy to deal with consumers and vendors.”

Professor David De Care, a criminologist at the University of Montreal, says: Before the market closes, they leave notes that say, “We’ve made a lot of money. Before we get caught, we’re retiring.” They say that those who run markets like the Tories earn more than 100,000 million a day in commissions.

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Alex Hudson, head of Dark Net Intelligence at the National Crime Agency, said: “I’m always glad to know that someone has realized that their profession is illegal. And he decided that what he really needed to do was learn how to do it right. “But we will bring him to justice and he will have to answer for what he did.”

Although sunscreen has become a trend at the moment, BBC research suggests that such markets are more likely to follow an exit scheme, with people running away with money. Despite some notable successes, the closure of such markets by the police is not uncommon. Ross Ulbrich, a U.S. citizen, is serving a two-year life sentence, including 40 years without parole.

He was convicted of operating the Silk Road, the largest drug market on the Dark Web, between 2011 and 2013. In October, 150 suspected drug dealers were arrested. The NCA called it the largest operation of its kind since the January 2021 raid on a Web site, Dark Market.

It involved police from several countries and made arrests in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and other countries. But shutting down such an illegal marketplace doesn’t do much good because drug dealers move elsewhere. According to a data analysis by the BBC, there are still at least 450 dealers who have escaped police action and are still doing business.

One of these dealers is called ‘Next Generation’ which has appeared in 21 different marketplaces in the last six years.  It is estimated that this criminal person or group has traded more than 140,000 hashish, cocaine and ketamine during this period. In an encrypted email, Next Generation wrote that “the police were facing an impossible target.”

Alex Hudson acknowledges that police are one step behind criminals, but says new technology will close the gap. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Compared to a few years ago, we are now able to get more useful information from the data and identify the culprits.”