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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Three Young Suspects Bought Kilos Of Drugs From The Dark Web

German investigators arrested three young persons for ordering large amounts of narcotics from the darknet and selling them to local customers.

Three young people, between the ages of 16 and 19, are under investigation, the Customs Office in Münich reported on Wednesday. According to police information, since September 2016, the criminal group allegedly ordered at least 12 kilograms of marijuana and 400 pieces of ecstasy tablets. Officials added that the suspects allegedly smuggled the narcotics inside Germany, meaning that they bought the substances from abroad vendors, possibly residing in the Netherlands or in Belgium.

Law enforcement authorities identified the gang’s activities when customs officers intercepted two packages full of marijuana in Austria during a routine inspection. According to the police report, the two parcels contained about 800 grams of cannabis. Austrian officials alerted the Customs Office in Münich, who took over the investigation of the three suspects. Law enforcement authorities delivered the two packages, one to a packing station in Schwabing, and the other to Berg am Laim, where they performed controlled deliveries on the suspects. After their detention, authorities found 4,000 euros in cash at one of the defendants.

During the investigation, law enforcement authorities uncovered the structure of the alleged criminal group. The 17-year-old was serving as the “boss” of the gang, who organized the drug deliveries, ordered the narcotics from the dark web, and sent the payment to the vendors. According to the police, the defendant made the sellers send the narcotics to packing stations in the Münich area. The 19-year-old was responsible for picking up the parcels from the postal offices. Investigators almost immediately detained him when he tried to pick up the packages Austrian customs authorities intercepted earlier. In the drug operation, the 19-year-old handed over the parcels to the 16-year-old, who allegedly sold the narcotics in smaller quantities personally to customers in the Münich area.

Currently, all suspects are in police custody. The investigations of the public prosecutor’s office and the customs office in Münich continue.

Not just the drug offenses, but the number of darknet related counterfeit cases had seen an increase in Germany in the past few months. Earlier this week, a 21-year-old German from Kronach was sentenced to probation for ordering fake bills from the dark side of the internet. According to the court documents, the 21-year-old purchased four fake 50 euro banknotes from the darknet in 2015 for the total sum of 45 euros. However, shortly after, law enforcement authorities arrested the vendor who sold the counterfeit money to the 21-year-old. The seller kept a careful bookkeeping of all of his transactions and customers, investigators had an easy job identifying the 21-year-old. Law enforcement authorities did not disclose the actual date of the suspect’s arrest, however, we can presume that he was placed into police custody shortly after the vendor’s detention.

German police arrested the counterfeit vendor in Bavaria who rented a workshop, however, his illegal activities were uncovered by the owner when he discovered the high power consumption. After the suspect’s arrest, investigators found high-quality counterfeiting equipment in the workshop, along with large amounts of fake euro bills. Law enforcement authorities claimed that the seller made about 15,000 euros in profits per month with his counterfeiting business. However, according to several complaints on his darknet profile, the quality of the euro notes was quite bad.

According to the 21-year-old, he ordered the counterfeit bills from the dark web not because he had financial problems, but he was just curious and wanted to “try out something new”.

“There was no reason for the defendant to make something unlawful,” the prosecutor criticized in her plea. She applied for a probation penalty of 11 months and a fine of 4,500 euros. However, Ulrich Guggemoos, defending the 21-year-old, asked the judge for a lesser punishment.

“My client did not know what he was doing, but he did not know what he was doing, he was not aware of what he was doing, he was a temptation out of youthful curiosity,” Guggemoos said. According to him, a financial penalty was sufficient for punishment.

“The currencies are protected by law, and the amount of the punishment is not a matter of how much is done with a forgery,” the judge reasoned. He sentenced the 21-year-old to eight months of probation and ordered him to pay 2,400 euros in fines.
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