Charges brought in extensive darknet drug trade case
The police have closed down Sweden’s largest darknet marketplace for drugs, Flugsvamp 2.0. Today, the administrator of the marketplace and four associates were prosecuted. The investigation of buyers and vendors continues.
The charges are based on a complicated and technically advanced police investigation. The suspects’ communication went through encrypted networks, communications channels and computers, but the police were still able to monitor the drug trade on the Flugsvamp 2.0 website and its administrator.
“Many people think that darknet is a hidden part of the internet where crimes can be committed anonymously and with impunity. They are completely wrong. We have developed our capabilities, and you cannot feel secure on hidden sites even when the criminal schemes are very advanced,” says Björn Eriksson, detective inspector at the National Cybercrime Centre and the person in charge of the investigation.
The schemes were advanced and many countries were involved; for example, the payments are believed to have been made through advanced bitcoin transactions and money laundering schemes. During the investigation, the police cooperated with 25 countries, including Hong Kong, Panama and Germany.
Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (Dark Web Team) provided operational and analytical support to the investigation.
The main suspect is charged with gross and exceptionally gross narcotics offences, a gross money laundering offence and falsification of an instrument, among other offences. In addition, four individuals are charged with money laundering offences.
The police investigation continues
In their investigation, the police were able to identify many of the 600 vendors and 17,000 buyers who are believed to have carried out more than 320,000 transfers of drugs. Many pieces of information that came to light in the two-year-long police investigation are followed up by the police.
“Based on the information that was revealed in the investigation, a new operation has been initiated against individuals identified as suspected buyers and vendors at the now-defunct marketplace,” says Björn Eriksson.