This is default featured slide 1 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

Friday, June 23, 2017

DPR Akan Bekukan Anggaran Polri, Jika Tak Hentikan Kasus Habib Rizieq Dan Menangguhkan Penahanan Al Khaththath

Pernyataan tegas Kapolri Jenderal Tito Karnavian yang tak mau menutup kasus Habib Rizieq Shihab serta menangguhkan penahanan Al Khaththath Ternyata berbuntut panjang. Sejumlah politikus di DPR mengusulkan agar semua anggaran untuk Polri Dibekukan.

Hal itu ditegaskan oleh Fadli Zon Selaku Wakil Ketua DPR yang juga merupakan politikus Partai Gerindra. Dia tak khawatir jika usulan tersebut dianggap memicu kegaduhan.
Menurut Fadli Zon justru Polri lah yang memancing kegaduhan sehingga anggarannya pantas dibekukan. "Ya nggak apa apa (gaduh). Mereka (Polri) kan maunya gaduh Terus," kata Fadli Zon di gedung DPR, Senayan, Jakarta, Selasa (20/6/2017).

Jika pembahasan RAPBN 2018 nanti benar-benar tak dilakukan dengan melibatkan KPK-Polri, dua lembaga ini tak akan bisa bekerja maksimal di 2018. Fadli Zon tak masalah dengan itu, Karena menurutnya Polri adalah Sumber Kegaduhan.

"Ya nggak punya (anggaran). Silakan menikmati, keras-kerasan saja, mereka ingin membuat gaduh dengan membuat sejumlah kasus ( kasus Rizieq Shihab dan Al Khaththath )," tegasnya.

Selain itu, jika benar anggaran dibekukan, wacana pembentukan Densus Tipikor Polri otomatis terhenti. "Ya nggak jadi kalau mereka nggak dateng. Ya disepakati doang kan," ucap Fadli Zon.

Wacana pembekuan Polri ini muncul usai Kapolri Jenderal Tito Karnavian menolak untuk Menghentikan Kasus Rizieq Shihab Dan Penangguhan Al Khaththath. Fadli Zon mengatakan wacana ini juga telah dibicarakan di lingkup DPR, Sejauh ini Sudah dua wakil Ketua DPR yang Sudah Setuju Yakni Fahri Dan Fadli Zon.


Extortion Suspect Walks Free After Forgetting Phone Password

A set of contradictory court decisions with an impact on digital privacy confused a portion of the nation and possibly the world on May 30. One Florida circuit court judge jailed a man after he gave investigators a passcode that failed to unlock his phone. Another Florida circuit court judge let a defendant walk after he explained that he forgot the password to his phone.

In case one, Broward Circuit Court Judge Michael Rothschild found the defendant guilty of contempt of court midway through the month of May. The defendant, a 41-year-old named Christopher Wheeler, gave police officers a passcode to his phone that did not work. Law enforcement was investigating Wheeler for suspected child abuse at the time.

He allegedly scratched and bruised his daughter earlier this year. The prosecution believed that Wheeler’s phone could contain photos that would indicate that he committed the crime. But after giving the investigating authorities his alleged passcode, the phone did not unlock. Judge Rothschild held Wheeler in contempt of court as of May 12. On May 30, the Broward Circuit Court judge ordered that Wheeler spend six months in jail.

“I swear, under oath, I’ve given them the password,” he told the court.

Wheeler is now serving six months in jail for contempt of court. However, he has a way out; “Should defendant provide a password which unlocks the phone prior to sentencing or thereafter, the court will purge the contempt and vacate the sentence,” Judge Rothschild wrote. If Wheeler is in possession of incriminating evidence on his phone, presumably not revealing his passcode and spending six months in jail is the preferable route. (This move resembles some desperate moves prosecutors have left in the past when fishing for evidence.)

This is a somewhat pivotal moment as judges have ruled that passwords are protected under under the Fifth Amendment. Then again, some have ruled that passwords are not any different than fingerprints when arguing that revealing your password is a method of self-incrimination. (A suspect is required—by law—to unlock his or her phone with a fingerprint if requested by authorities.

In case two, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson allowed the defendant, Wesley Victor, to walk free after he explained that he had forgotten the password. Victor and his former girlfriend, Hencha Voigt, were accused of threatening to release sex tapes of a Miami “celebrity” unless she paid $18,000.

Midway through May the judge ordered both Victor and Voigt to unlock their phones or give detectives their passcodes. Voigt gave the officers the pin to unlock her iPhone. That pin did not work. Judge Johnson found her in contempt of court and ordered that she reappear to offer an explanation as to why the passcode failed to unlock the phone.

Victor, though, never attempted to deliver a password to the officers. His reasoning? That since more than 10 months past since his arrest, he no longer remembered the password needed to unlock his Blackberry. The judge said that nobody could prove Victor was lying and decided against holding him in contempt of court.

“The judge made the right call,” Victor’s attorney said. “My client testified he did not remember. It’s been almost a year. Many people, including myself, can’t remember passwords from a year ago.”

Judge Johnson will see Voigt again in early June. There are very few reasons Voigt would use a different argument.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two Members of a Spain-based Mobile Phone Fraud Network Arrested

Two persons were arrested in Jumilla, Spain for being part of a network that fraudulently purchased smartphones from service providers.

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia carried out a law enforcement action, called “Operation Darkweb” in Jumilla, to clarify a series of scams in the acquisition of mobile phones. The operation resulted in the arrest of two people from Valencia. Investigators suspect the two individuals to be part of a regional criminal network. The prosecution accused the duo of multiple crimes, including fraud, forgery of public documents, and “continued usurpation of civil status”.

In May, the first phase of the operation began, it was followed by the arrest of the two suspects of Guinean origin. After law enforcement authorities detained the duo, investigators found many documents that were to be used, allegedly, in the preparation of identification papers, such as passports and identity cards of foreigners. Therefore, the investigation aimed to find out the origin and the destination of the documents.

During the initial raids on the homes of the suspects, a personal computer was also seized by law enforcement authorities. After the forensic analysis, investigators discovered that the hard drive of the device stored a large number of files containing personal information of numerous people. The data included names, ID numbers, postal addresses and, in some cases, banking and financial information.

The police could verify that the personal data found on the suspects’ computers corresponded with the data of real people, who, during the last months or years, had been victims of fraud. The fraud, according to the police, was, in all cases, connected to contract with mobile phone service providers and the acquisition of high-end smartphones. Investigators also revealed that most of the crimes were committed within the area of Valencia.

The network of scammers, which is now partially dismantled, had several operational groups. In the first instance, there was a group of people in charge of obtaining personal information that would eventually be the victims’. Information, as has been known, was obtained both from websites dedicated to the selling of business data and, more specifically, darknet hacking forums and marketplaces.

At the second level, people were in charge of selling false documents or providing the necessary elements for their preparation, which could be passports and NIEs (tax identification numbers in Spain), but also company certificates and bank documents.

The third and last level are the “mules”, or people who are ordered to travel to different points in Spain to collect the high-end smartphones from the post offices, which the gang had acquired using the fake documentation.

Law enforcement authorities uncovered that the most common scam was the acquisition of high-end smartphones of a “well-known brand”, with an estimated price of approximately 1,000 euros per piece, and other high-end mobile phones. For this, they formalized contracts with fictitious documentation and later, modified the client’s’ contact information (address, email and telephone number) so the mobile service providers could not contact the victims.

Finally, they falsified the personal documentation of the customers to collect the packages sent by the telecommunication companies. The parcels, in all cases, contained high-end smartphones, which were delivered to the post offices or sent to unknown locations by courier services. Once the smartphones were obtained, they could be quickly advertised in Spain and in other countries, obtaining a considerable economic benefit.

So far, law enforcement authorities detected that the two suspects were active in many parts of Spain, including Valencia, Chiva, Quartell, Madrid, Majadahonda, Alcorcón and finally, in the municipality of Jumilla, Murcia.

Investigators reported that the two accused had moved from Valencia to Jumilla in order to collect a postal parcel, which contained a high-end smartphone. According to the police, the two suspects used false identification documents to acquire the phones.

Both of the arrested are men, of Guinean nationality, aged 26 and 35, and are residents of Valencia. According to the police, the seized items and the results of the investigations have been made available to the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 1 of Jumilla.


Dutch Police Not Knowing Where Collector Got World War II Ammunition And Explosives

Law enforcement authorities discovered a large cache, containing kilograms of ammunition and explosives from World War II, at a man’s home in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands. Investigators do not know the source or the method how the suspect acquired the illegal items.

It is certain that the number of grenades, including frag, phosphorous (smoke) and other hand grenades, was too much for the 30-year-old man to legally keep at his house, but investigators also found other types of explosives, such as artillery shells. According to the experts, one exploding grenade can be enough for a fatal accident due to the number of the explosives kept in the house.

Phosphorus grenades are used to create a smoke field. However, police officers say that the inhalation of the smoke can be bad for health. An artillery shell is used to blow up an armored vehicle or building. That is the reason why it is illegal to keep such explosives at the home of individuals in the Netherlands. Exemptions, if any are provided, apply for small caliber ammunition up to 20 millimeters.

To collect shells, weapons, and ammunition, the citizens of the Netherlands must comply with strict rules regarding the storage of those. It must be done in special cabinets in enclosed fireproof spaces. Not in a shed or terraced house, like in the case of the 30-year-old man.

It remains a question where, and from whom, the man bought the ammunition and explosives. According to a regional specialist, it is almost impossible to buy sharp grenades or any kinds of illegal weaponry from Dutch collection markets, since the rules are very strict there. The specialist added that the laws of the country do not allow people to visit former battlefields with a metal detector searching for weapons, ammunition, or explosives. However, according to the expert, it is much easier to acquire firearms banned in the Netherlands from the dark web.

According to the police, in Central and West Brabant once or twice a year, law enforcement authorities find a stock of arms and/or ammunition at a private individual with amounts above the legal limit. Therefore, the police check once a year whether the license complies with the conditions. Whether the police check in Etten-Leur took place by “the book”, is not clear.

According to the police, when they found the 30-year-old man, he was in an ill condition. So sick, they considered it as an “irresponsible” action to put the man in a cell. Therefore, the suspect was not taken into police custody. The prosecution is currently waiting for the police investigation to finish, along with reports on the health of the 30-year-old, to charge the suspect. Police spokesman Martine Pilaar said that despite the man’s conditions, law enforcement authorities have to get answers to the exact amount and type of the explosives and ammunition, how long the man kept them at his home, and the potential dangers.


Husband and Wife Charged for Darknet Drug Distribution

For two and a half years, Daniel and Juliana B. used the darknet to distribute numerous types of drugs—1,205 orders totalling $337,940, according to the prosecution. The trial drew near an end as the evidence against the husband and wife stacked up in front of them. Daniel, the 30-year-old husband accepted and claimed every charge in an effort to shield his wife from prison. His wife, 35-year-old Juliana, admitted to very little actionable evidence.

The trial began on May 3, 2017, and was scheduled to run through May 9. This did not happen. The entire process took significantly longer after the judge fell sick to an illness and the court did not reconvene on May 9. Instead, the the two defendants waited until June 2 for their first hearing, a second time.

In February 2012, Daniel learned of the darknet. He told the court that he purchased some of the best speed of his lifetime. He ordered it for personal use until November 2015—both the defendant and prosecution agreed. “I set up a buyer account in the name of my wife – because of my criminal records,” he said. “My wife did not know anything about it.” He appeared to have ceased use in November 2015.

“He set up the account details on my phone,” Juliana said in her testimony. “Of course I knew what he was doing. I did not want to have anything to do with drug trafficking, but I did not mind [helping him].”

Starting at an unknown date in early 2014, the defendants sold across numerous vendor accounts on various darknet markets. They sold cocaine, amphetamine, MDMA in powder or crystal form, ecstasy tablets, marijuana, and diazepam. Both the husband and wife received the same distribution charges; while the husband alone could receive a distribution conviction, the prosecution continued to speak as if both defendants were equally involved.

Their vendor accounts received high ratings for the drugs they sold. A buyer reviewed the ecstasy pills and said they were of “excellent quality.” The prosecution alleged that the duo completed 1,205 illegal transactions of the same sort. And according to bank information from the bank account under Juliana’s name, they deposited almost $334,000. For this—the quantity of drugs sold and money earned—authorities charged the pair with the illicit trafficking of narcotics and a violation of the German Medicine Act.

However, Juliana claimed that she begged her husband to stop selling. And at some point, he did—or they did, if the pair lied. He quit until August 2016. “[I stopped] until I got a very good offer in August 2016 and started again,” he confirmed. This time, the prosecution claimed, she undeniably helped him. She confirmed this. According to the prosecution, Juliana told Daniel that she would help him sell the drugs until they sold all of what Daniel stockpiled.

Law enforcement investigated the vendors after finding Juliana’s bank transactions suspicious. They watched the duo mail parcels on a routine basis and once they collected enough proof, officers made arrests. Unfortunately for Juliana, officers watched her drop off a parcel for shipment. She admitted that she helped on the second “run” between August 2016 until their arrests.

But the help was nothing more than letting him use her name on a bank account and dropped off packages, she argued. “I just took something on the way to work and put it in the box.” The prosecution said that the wife was not only a “helper but also an accomplice.” According to the court, Juliana conducted price negotiations, ordered stamps, and accepted packages from suppliers.

The session ended without a conclusion for Juliana. Daniel was made aware that he would serve six years in prison, based on his testimony. The court will reconvene in early June.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

German Made Nearly 70,000 Euros Scamming 254 Victims With Fake Website

Recently, a man from Windeck, Germany was standing trial for buying a “homepage set” on the dark web, which he used to scam victims.

On May 31, a 24-year-old man from Windeck was standing before the District Court of Bonn. The prosecution charged the defendant with fraud in 254 cases and with personal injury in one case.

According to the court documents, the between October 2015 and March 2016, the 24-year-old man, who had no job at the time, financed his livelihood through a fake internet shop. As early as the beginning of 2015, he discovered the internet as a source of income and established accounts on a sales platform. Court documents stated that the 24-year-old was an active user of the dark web. During his search on the dark side of the internet, he discovered a service, offering a “homepage set”, which he bought and used to establish an online shop. According to the court records, on a website with a “fictional name”, customers were able to order electronic products from a person with a “fictional name”. From game consoles to household appliances to beer dispensing system, everything was offered at reasonable prices. However, when the customers placed the orders and paid the cost of the products at the shop of the suspect, they had never received anything. Neither the police nor the court documents provided information on the homepage set the defendant allegedly bought from the dark web. However, as there are plenty of fraud-related items being sold on darknet marketplaces and forums, the service could be either a tutorial on how to set up a website, which could be used to scam victims, or a complete pack of tools (maybe along with instructions) allowing the customers to set up the fraud operation they need.

According to the accusation, the funds victims paid for the non-existent electronic goods landed on various financial accounts, which the 24-year-old set up using the help of a 21-year-old accomplice. Court records stated that the defendant acquired a fake passport (most possibly from the dark web) and used it to create accounts at payment services using a fictional name. Thus, the main suspect made huge profits from the scam operation. Police claimed that the accused made approximately 69,000 euros, and the funds were managed by the 21-year-old accomplice. According to the court documents, the defendant bought a recording studio from the money he made, while he kept the remaining funds in encrypted bitcoin wallets. Together with the 21-year-old, the defendant is also accused of physically injuring a 20-year-old from Windeck, who had threatened to make a complaint.

The accused partially confessed. He admitted that he had been involved in the fraud, but he claimed that he played a minor role in the operation. The 24-year-old stated that a user from an internet forum named “Roland” was the one pulling the strings.

The trial begins in June, the 24-year-old is already placed into police custody. The 21-year-old’s trial will be held separately.


Counterfeit Euro Buyer From Réunion Arrested In Joint Austrian And French Investigation

After Austrian law enforcement authorities dismantled a gang selling high-quality counterfeit euros on the dark web, a man from Saint-Paul, Réunion was arrested for buying multiple fake euro bills from the criminal gang. The defendant is also suspected of selling some of the notes to local customers for a profit.

Réunion is an island and region of France located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius. The island has a population of nearly 850,000 people and is an overseas department of France.

It is an unusual case, where multiple law enforcement authorities were involved, including the Austrian police, local law enforcement in Réunion, and the Central Office For Combatting Counterfeiting, which is located in Paris, France. The investigation started when Austrian authorities contacted their colleagues in Paris, saying that they had busted a criminal group in Austria, which had an impressive traffic of counterfeit currency flowing from the country to abroad. Austrian law enforcement authorities reported that the criminals pressed large amounts of counterfeit 20, 50, 100 euro bills and sold them over the dark web. According to police information, the fake notes were imitated extremely well using UV fibers similar to those of authentic banknotes.

It is rare that a darknet vendor (or vendor group) is selling high-quality counterfeit euro bills. In most of the criminal cases, the customers get arrested when they try to put the fake notes into circulation. In such instances, the reason for the discovery often originates from the quality of the bills. In May, two German students were sentenced to community service for purchasing fake euro notes from the dark web. In that case, one of the defendants reported that the quality of the euro bills was so bad that they could only use them “in the dark”.

To give an idea of the extent of the criminal operation, the Austrian police provided details on the number of bills the group distributed. The report shows that over 70,000 fake bills were distributed throughout Europe, including 31,000 pieces arriving in France.

According to the police, the customers of the counterfeiter group could obtain the euro notes by buying them from the dark web. Austrian police managed to identify some of the customers of the vendor group, among them was the 31-year-old resident of Saint-Paul.

The man, who is already known to the justice, was arrested in the morning on May 30 at his residence by the police of the SIAT (Interdepartmental Service of Technical Assistance). When law enforcement authorities searched the home of the suspect, they found one counterfeit 100 euro note and two 20 euro bills. Police reported that the notes were so well imitated that they had to call the services of the IEDOM (Institute of Overseas Departments) and a specialized European office to confirm their fraudulent origin, checking the serial numbers.

The 31-year-old, who also confessed that he was selling multiple fake notes of 50 euros in the recent months, was released from custody with a summoning to the criminal court for the possession of counterfeit money.


Weapon Trade On The Dark Web Increased In The Netherlands

According to a national threat assessment report published by the Dutch police on June 1, the illegal trade of weapons on the darknet is increased, along with the use of automatic firearms among criminals in the Netherlands.

A separate report conducted in May confirms the findings of the current study. In the previous research, it was claimed that it is easier to acquire a rifle than a handgun in the Netherlands. Researchers say, based on the police figures showing the number of seized machine guns was above 200 in 2014, the Netherlands is a hub in a network of international weapon smugglers.

The current study said heavy automatic weapons had long been used for killings in the drug scene, but they also gained ground elsewhere. In the past year, heavy weapons were used for robbing a jewelry store, firing up a coffee shop, but criminals even used assault rifles for extortion attempts. Dick Schouten, portfolio manager for tackling the illegal weapon trade at the Dutch police said that the current development of the firearm scene is presenting a danger to both the citizens and the police. The official worries that the use of such heavy weaponry can result in the death of innocent people. He added that criminals can also use assault rifles to “keep the police at bay”.

According to data published by the police, there is a heavy arms race going on between narcotic gangs in the Netherlands. In a tight market, they the criminals do not want to fall behind their competitors, so they arm themselves with heavy weapons, the study said. It is reported that professional and higher-ranking criminals are equipping themselves with bulletproof vests and armored cars. The study reported that target hardening is a new phenomenon in the country. Therefore, for “successful liquidations” the criminals need more firepower.

“[On the dark web] You will find variants of marketplaces where the greatest mystery is the weaponry sale, sent via parcel post. Traders could take advantage of the open borders within the European Union, Schouten said. The police official added that the Netherlands experienced an increased use of the dark web regarding weapon sales.

The researchers discovered another trend. According to them, the weapons are increasingly being sent in parts from multiple countries. The study brought up Glock pistols as an example. The report shows that the slide for the handguns comes from the United States, while the other parts are sent from Austria. After the criminals had received all the parts for the Glock pistols, they simply assemble the guns in the Netherlands.

The researchers reported that in the recent years, most weapons in Europe came from Slovakia. Because of an inadequate legislation that makes it possible to disable weapons through a simple procedure, arms dealers can sell the firearms legally. When the criminals buy the arms, they know how to reassemble them.

According to the report, a sole weapon vendor is Slovakia sold approximately 10,000 disabled firearms legally. Of these, more than 200 found was found in the Netherlands, mainly involving automatic weapons. To avoid such loopholes in the law, Schouten calls for a unified legislation in the European Union.

A report from researcher organization TransCrime mentioned the Netherlands as one of the main target countries for illegal firearms. Schouten confirmed this statement, saying that every year, the police seizes about 8,000 weapons in the country. The police official added that Spain, Slovakia, Ireland, and Italy are closely followed by the Netherlands on the list of the countries within the European Union where the most weapons are seized.

According to information provided by the Dutch police, in the past year, there have been 3,500 registered incidents involving firearms. This is a decrease of 400 cases compared to 2015, however, in Rotterdam and Utrecht, this number had increased from 2015 to 2016.


Members Of Chemical Love Vendor Shop Sentenced In Germany

In April 2016, in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, law enforcement authorities arrested five men who were suspected of running the Chemical Love vendor shop. On October 11, 2016, The Central Cybercrime Office (LZC) of the General Public Prosecutor’s Office announced they had charged six individuals in the case. Now, the Landau District court sentenced three of the defendants, including the main suspect, to prison.

When German authorities arrested the five suspects and raided the “narcotics depot” in the Rhineland-Palatine, they found an astonishing amount of drugs. Law enforcement authorities seized approximately 45 kilograms of amphetamine imported from the Netherlands, more than 3.5 kilograms of amphetamine, 1.4 kilograms of cocaine, 230 grams of heroin, 4,158 LSD trips, 2 kilograms of hash, 250 grams of crystal meth, 4.7 kilograms of MDMA in crystalline form, and 5.1 kilograms of ecstasy pills. In addition, they are expected to receive approximately 75 kilograms of amphetamine, 3.6 kilograms of MDMA, 2,700 LSD trips, 12,800 ecstasy pills, 1.67 kilograms of cocaine, 300 grams of heroin, 2.93 kilograms of hash and 2,300 kilos of amphetamine 165 grams of crystal meth.

In addition to the drugs, investigators also found a list in the narcotics depot with approximately 2,200 orders, which were conducted at the Chemical Love vendor shop. German law enforcement authorities made a good use of the list. In September 2016, they launched a nationwide operation against 63 alleged customers of the drug dealers. According to the Attorney General’s Office in Koblenz, about 300 investigators participated in the raid, performing house searches at 68 locations. In March, this year, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Koblenz announced they had started more than 1,000 investigations against past customers of Chemical Love.

On June 2, the Landau District Court sentenced three members of the Chemical Love vendor shop to prison. The 30-year-old main suspect, going by the pseudo name “z100”, was given a prison sentence of 14 years and 10 months. The co-defendants, aged 31 and 32 years, were sentenced to seven years and three months of imprisonment.

According to the German news publication, the 30-year-old defendant is the son of the former soccer player Walter Kelsch, who played for the national team in 1984 and for the VfB Stuttgart. When law enforcement authorities raided the narcotics depot in the Rhineland-Palatinate, the 61-year-old Kelsch was among the suspects who were arrested. The former soccer player was also charged by the prosecution.

In addition to the prison sentence, the main suspect was ordered to pay 10 million euros to the German state. According to Judge Urban Ruppert, the sum includes the estimated profits the criminal made, along with the estimated value increase of the bitcoins.

“The economic perspective is not good for you,” Judge Ruppert said to the 30-year-old, who took the judgment with a bitter smile. According to the judge, whoever is sitting on the bitcoins and does not cooperate, should not be surprised at such punishment.

The court saw it as proven that the main defendant and the 31-year-old accomplice smuggled tens of kilograms of amphetamine from the Netherlands to Germany in several cases. According to the court records, for a certain period of time, the drugs were hidden at a location in Rülzheim by the 32-year-old suspect.

According to public prosecutor Alexander Fassel, the Chemical love vendor shop was one of the largest darknet stores offering narcotics in Germany. Fassel added that the criminals sold cocaine, hashish, LSD trips and ecstasy pills to their customers.

While the court acknowledged the confessions of the two co-defendants, the presiding judge declared the 30-year-old suspect as the criminal mastermind of the operation, who had established prosperity with the drug business, even if he did not admit it. He had a “tendency to drugs”, but the court doubted that this had driven him to action. According to the court documents, it was more likely that the man had decided to commit the crimes “because of his personality”.

The court ordered all three defendants to be held at a specific detention center for a certain period of time. The verdict largely corresponded to the demands of public prosecutor Alexander Fassel.


Three Arrested In France For Cultivating And Trafficking Marijuana

One May 30, French police arrested three men in Saint-Hilaire de Chaléons, France, who allegedly cultivated cannabis, which they resold to their customers.

The police disclosed that three market gardeners, 18, 20, and 22 years old were all running a narcotic operations, where they grew cannabis at a greenhouse, produced the substance, and resold them to customers. Since there is only a minimal information in the case, we do not know if the suspects used “traditional” ways (selling the drug locally, on the streets) or the dark web to sell the marijuana to their customers.

However, their business did not last long. Law enforcement authorities on May 30 raided the location where the defendants cultivated the marijuana, and arrested the young suspects. According to the police, the main suspect admitted that he sold approximately 13 kilograms of the substance. Investigators said that the criminal operation started in September 2016. During the police raid, law enforcement authorities seized about 10 kilograms of marijuana and a shotgun. The trial will be held in Saint-Nazaire on October 3.

At the end of May, law enforcement authorities arrested a young man from Nantes, France for ordering ecstasy pills from the Netherlands. According to the French news outlet, a young man in his twenties was detained on May 26 after customs intercepted a package containing ecstasy pills arriving from the Netherlands. The prosecution considers charging the suspect with the importation of narcotics.

The media outlet stated that the illicit substances were delivered to the home of the suspect in Nantes. The defendant allegedly used the dark web and purchased the drugs from a vendor residing in the Netherlands. The man was placed in police custody.

On May 18, the court sentenced a Frenchman from Plédran, France for ordering large amounts of narcotics from the internet. It is not stated in the court documents, however, there is a big chance that the defendant purchased the drugs from the dark web.

According to the court documents, the defendant ordered 17 grams of amphetamine from the internet to a postal office near Rennes. However, on January 13, at the customs office, sniffer dogs identified the package, which contained the drugs. Law enforcement authorities followed the package and performed a controlled delivery at the suspect.

Investigators delivered the narcotics to the man, and when the defendant opened the package, they immediately arrested him. Soon after the suspect was placed in police custody, he admitted that he ordered amphetamines from the internet for his own use. When law enforcement authorities searched the home of the defendant, they found 639 grams of marijuana and 20 cannabis plants, which the suspect allegedly cultivated for his own use.

The defendant, who is a family man, admitted that he has been a consumer of cannabis for several years. However, when the police asked him about the amphetamine, he answered that he needed the substance to cure his sleep problems. According to the court documents, the man diagnosed himself as “hypersomnia, which is a neurological disorder of excessive time spent sleeping or excessive sleepiness. The defendant’s lawyer claimed that the man refused to take antidepressants or any other legal medication for his sleeping disorder, that’s why he purchased amphetamine from the internet.

When the defendant was asked about the 20 cannabis plants, his lawyer claimed that those were exclusively for the man’s own use. The attorney argued that since officers did not find anything on his client’s phone, there is no evidence that he resold or intended to resell the drugs to others.

A representative of the customs office recommended the court to fine the man for 2,826 euros, “which is the value of what has been seized”. In addition, the prosecution requested a 6-month prison sentence along with a suspended sentence.

The criminal court sentenced the defendant to one year of suspended prison sentence, and he has to pay 2,826 euros to the customs office.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Drug Vendor And Reseller Arrested In Sweden

Law enforcement authorities detained a narcotic vendor in Umeå, Sweden, who allegedly sold the illicit substances in closed groups on Facebook and on the dark web. Investigators also arrested a man from Taby, Sweden, who allegedly bought large quantities from the main defendant with the intention to resell the illicit substances.

According to the police information, a 27-year-old man living in Umeå had conducted an extensive drug business on the darknet together with his partner. It was revealed through the course of the investigation that the 27-year-old had ordered large quantities of drugs including, prescription pills, hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD, and amphetamine, from the Netherlands and other abroad countries. The defendant allegedly paid in bitcoins for the drugs.

After parts of the narcotics arrived at the 27-year-old’s home, he allegedly created a vendor profile on a darknet marketplace, where he started selling the drugs. According to the police information, the defendant also advertised his illicit products in close groups on Facebook. Law enforcement authorities added that the suspect managed the payments via Swish, a mobile payment system popular in Sweden. However, since all transactions on dark net marketplaces are conducted in virtual currencies, such as bitcoin or monero, there is a big possibility that most of the payments were sent to the 27-year-old in cryptocurrencies. It is not clear though, whether the defendant created closed groups on Facebook dedicated to the sale of narcotics, or he posted his advertisements to groups that were managed by others.

According to the police information, the drug operation of the 27-year-old must have generated over 300,000 SEK (34,520 USD) in profits. The 27-year-old attracted police attention when he attacked a controller of the radio service. Authorities did not disclose any details on the arrest of the defendant, however, since the case is quite fresh, we can expect additional information soon.

Law enforcement authorities also arrested one of the customers of the 27-year-old. According to the investigators, the 31-year-old from Taby bought 3,600 prescription pills (there is no information, which kind of substance did he buy) from the main defendant in the course of three months. When police arrested the man, during his interrogation, the 31-year-old claimed that he bought the narcotics since he felt unwell, and therefore started taking drugs when he was not able to renew his prescription medications.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to most of the charges against him, including three counts of drug offenses of normal degree and 15 cases of minor drug offenses. Since it did not take very long for the defendant to confess the judge already announced a verdict in his case. Despite the fact that the 31-year-old ordered large quantities of drugs from a dark web vendor, the judge sentenced him to community service. The reason for the lesser punishment might be, that the defendant told the truth to the police and only ordered the narcotics since he could not renew his prescription medications.


Austrian Federal Police Identified Carder Group Who Stole More Than 50,000 Credit Card Details

Recently, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BK) in Austria announced that they had identified a group of criminals who stole more than 50,000 credit card details from the victims.

According to Rudolf Unterköfler, head of the Federal Crime Division at the Federal Criminal Police Office, Austrian law enforcement authorities identified a group that traded more than 50,000 credit card details on the dark web in the course of three years. The official stated that during the examination of the data, investigators discovered that 2,000 of the victims were Austrian citizens. Unterköfler added that through the intervention of the BK, in cooperation with international authorities, the cardholders did not suffer any damage in this case.

An official report that Austrian officials conducted on the field of cybercrime shows that there is a significant decrease in crimes related to carding. Between 2014 and 2016, victims only reported 4,516 of such incidents to the police.

However, Unterköfler said that the card does not have to be stolen for criminals to steal the money from them. The official explained that since there are no magnetic strips but chips on the cards, criminals, if they have the required data, can code the victims’ details to plastic cards, which they can use to steal their money. Unterköfler emphasized the dangers of online payments saying that cybercriminals can “infiltrate the systems of large online merchants” and they can obtain the financial information of the victims. He claimed that after the criminals have the required data, they have an easy job to pay with the stolen details, or even withdraw money from the cards.

Unterköfler said that apart from the police, cybercriminals can be stopped by the credit card companies. The official claimed that the screening of such companies works efficiently, and it is quickly noticed when extraordinary amounts are withdrawn, or the card is used “suddenly somewhere abroad” to pay for products or services. In such cases, the credit card provider often denies a transaction. In the event of any discrepancies, the companies contact the competent police authorities. The cardholders will only be informed about the criminal activities later since, in most cases, they suffer no harm.

Another point that contributes to safety is the technology behind the mapping systems. In the recent years, this tech has drastically improved.

“The original card must always be available for payment in Europe for trading and withdrawal from the cash machine – a fake card is immediately recognized and rejected,” Lucas Crow, spokesman for Visa Austria, said in a statement.

According to Crow, the main reason why credit card details are stolen is that many of the merchants are careless and they do not improve the security at their websites.

“Abusive purchases on the internet can only be carried out because the merchants deliberately and consciously do not improve the security measures, such as the check digit or a pin like ‘Verified by Visa’.”

Cardholders in Austria are not liable for payments with credit cards, which they have not authorized by online authentication or their signature.


Canadian Backpacker Fined For Booking With Stolen Credit Card Details

Australian authorities sentenced a Canadian backpacker to pay a fine, along with restitution to the victim, for buying stolen credit card information on the dark web and using the data to book a holiday resort.

On May 22, the prosecution formally charged the 18-year-old Nathanial Meryk Bell with two counts of fraud, and one count each of attempted fraud and possessing equipment for the purpose of committing an offense. According to the court documents, the defendant used a 42-year-old New South Wales man’s credit card information, which Bell allegedly bought from the dark web, to book a holiday resort in Hastings Street, Noosa, Australia. However, when the victim noticed discrepancies on his credit card statement, he immediately notified his bank and the resort. Since the 42-year-old man discovered the suspicious activity on his statement in a timely manner, the resort staff were able to call the police when Bell and three of his friends arrived at the holiday place. When law enforcement authorities arrived on the scene, they detained both the 18-year-old and his friends. However, later on, they released the friends of the defendant and considered them as witnesses in the case.

Sunshine Coast District officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards stated that Bell purchased the credit card information on the dark web.

“We’re aware of some dark areas on the internet where offenders do advertise people’s identities, credit card details and the like and purchase them. Organized criminal groups are using that technology. We encourage people to be more vigilant,” Edwards said in a statement.

At the time, the Sunshine Coast police reminded the citizens of the area to be “extra vigilant” when they are checking their credit card statements. Edwards advised the public to keep a close eye on the transactions, and when they see any suspicious activity, immediately notify the police and the bank. The detective emphasized that the current case should be served as a warning to the people to keep their personal details safe. Edwards said that criminals are targeting victims with phishing attacks, including phones calls and emails, which could result in the loss of their financial data.

“Unfortunately we have a trusting population that does tend to give out a lot of information without having those checks and balances, and we’re seeing a bit of an increase in these types of frauds using that type of activity,” Edwards said. The detective added that there is a website called “Scamwatch”, which could be used to prevent and combat fraudulent activity.

After pleading guilty to credit card fraud, the Noosa Magistrates Court fined Bell on June 2 to $1,200 since he had no previous convictions. Acting magistrate Graham Hillan also ordered the 18-year-old to pay a restitution fee of $596. The Canadian backpacker has to pay the restitution in the course of one week, in order to get back his passport from Australian authorities. As Bell left the courthouse, he refused to comment on the case to the media.


18.6.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

We wrote about the prosecution’s request that former US Army combat engineer David Tippens serve four years in prison for possession of child pornography. Four years in prison for one of the men caught in Operation Pacifier seemed low at the time. But since the judge opted to render the FBI’s evidence inadmissible, Tippens only received one conviction: one count of possession of child abuse imagery. The prosecution pushed for a four year sentence with 15-years of federal supervision. The Court heard the prosecutors describe how terrible of a person Tippens was, regardless of the dropped charges. Sentencing came around this week and Tippens received only a 6-month sentence. According to Naked Security, the Court was impressed with his “distinguished” Army career and that his “pornography addiction related to PTSD that would be addressed through continuing counseling.” DeepDotWeb

Several weeks ago, an outside entity stole a file that contained client information from UAB Beauty Surgery (Grozio Chirurgija) in Lithuania. The entity some information and pictures that some people, including public figures, would not have wanted in circulation. This, in their words, meant “photos taken of changes (vagina, breast, penis, etc.).” They attempted flat-out extortion of the clinic. The clinic denied the data’s authenticity. The extortionist(s) then created an auction for the photos on a hidden service “shop.” One could view 20 samples for free, buy data on individual people, or pay the ever increasing fee for the entire collection. The alleged hacking group—known as Tsar Team according to the police—have been harassing individual clients at an increased price. DeepDotWeb

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Shaun Bridges’s appeal to change the terms of his plea agreement. Bridges, a former Secret Service agent who investigated Ross Ulbricht, stole roughly $800,000 in Bitcoin while investigating the Silk Road. He pleaded guilty to the theft, and in the plea agreement, he signed away his right to appeal the sentence. In spite of this, Bridges appealed the decision, asking for the right to appeal. Davina Pujari, the agent’s defense counsel who worked on the appeal, called the issues “legally frivolous.” And so did the Appeals Court, albeit in more words: “Bridges has waived his right to appeal his conviction and sentence,” the judges wrote. “Because the record discloses no arguable issue as to the validity of the appeal waiver, we dismiss the appeal.” DeepDotWeb

Although Coinbase reinstated the Free Ross legal defense account, the community came close to taking up arms—at least on Twitter. The official Free Ross Twitter account, @Free_Ross, tweeted “[Coinbase] disabled the #FreeRoss account after receiving 16.5 #bitcoin today. Now can’t pay lawyers.” This stirred theories of a connection between the freeze and a recent addition to the Coinbase Board of Directors: the federal prosecutor from the government’s case against Shaun Bridges and Carl Force. Both agents helped themselves to Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins through several abuses of power and scams during the Silk Road investigation. Coinbase, of course, hired the prosecutor for her expertise, they announced in a blog post. Bitsonline (Reminder: Coinbase enabled the account. The account was automatically flagged as a compromised account.)


Six Indicted in Darknet Fentanyl Distribution Ring

On May 31, a Federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment that charged five more individuals in what authorities called the nation’s largest fentanyl trafficking ring. The original indictment charged only one man with fentanyl distribution, later discovered to be an Alphabay vendor. The Utah-based “group” could press several thousand pills and sold, through the darknet, to “every corner of the United States.”

The group began as only a partnership between two people—Aaron Michael Shamo and Drew Wilson Crandall. Shamo, the “principal administrator, organizer, and supervisor,” quickly took on numerous employees as the business expanded. Authorities arrested the leader, who now faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of “knowingly and intentionally engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise,” on a federal criminal complaint from late 2016. (Not to be confused with this Utah-based fentanyl dealer.)

Individuals named in the indictment: Aaron Michael Shamo, a 27-year-old from Utah; Alexandrya Marie Tonge, a 25-year-old from Utah; Katherine Lauren Ann Bustin, a 26-year-old from Utah; Mario Anthony Noble, a 28-year-old from Utah; Sean Michael Gygi, a 27-year-old from Utah; and finally Drew Wilson Crandall, a 30-year-old from Brisbane, Australia.

Shamo and Crandall, prior to becoming the fentanyl traffickers of the month, worked at eBay. At this point, they ordered pill presses (and/or components required to build pill presses), dice, stamps, pill binders, and dyes. They also ordered fentanyl and alprazolam from China, the indictment alleged. The press release from the Utah Attorney’s Office clarified that the men illegally ordered fentanyl and alprazolam, in contrast to some of the legal non-drug orders.

The men, before they quit their jobs in 2014, hired a co-worker: Alexandrya Marie Tonge. They additionally recruited her housemate. Tonge and her housemate, Bustin, received packages for Shamo and Crandall. They received $200 to $300 for each package.

From the 2016 Criminal Complaint:

“[Shamo] is known to have employed several individuals over the last year to accept shipments of packages from China at their residences. These individuals would deliver the packages to [Shamo] without opening them or inspecting the contents.”

In 2015, Tonge asked Shamo and Crandall if she could make more money by playing a more important role. According to court documents, Tonge and Bustin then started new positions. They prepared the pills for shipment—or, rather, prepared the packages of pills for shipment. Court documents revealed that Crandall taught the two co-conspirators to wrap packages in mylar bags. And then to package the prepared package for shipment in regular envelopes with “regular stamps.”

After Shamo landed in custody in November 2016, Crandall fled to Australia. The other, newly indicted co-defendants were not named or arrested. Law enforcement raided two houses, both of which they believed belonged to Shamo. They found a combined total of 70,000 pills fake Oxycodone pills and $1.2 million in cash. Authorities charged Shamo with possession with intent to distribute, among lesser charges. Officers also found “more than approximately 25,000 pills that have the appearance of Alprazolam.”

“Agents discovered a pill press in Shamo’s Cottonwood Heights home capable of manufacturing several thousand pills an hour,” officials described.

Following Shamo’s arrest, a connection to an Alphabay vendor named Pharma-Master appeared. Buyers asked why he stopped returning private messages. And one the best broke, armchair detectives noticed the dates lined up: Pharma-Master’s last login was within one day of Shamo’s arrest. And then it became common knowledge.

At the press announcement, U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, John Huber, revealed that they connected the defendants to Pharma-Master. He displayed a map that marked locations where the vendor’s fentanyl-laced pills went. Some of the data was obtained by seizing the outgoing mail from the co-defendants.

Four co-defendants remain free—Tonge, Bustin, Noble, and Gygi. They will receive a federal summons. Authorities in Hawaii arrested Crandall in May and Shamo has been in federal custody for some time now.

They face charges in the 15-count superseding indictment. Count 1 applies to Shamo: knowingly and intentionally engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. Counts 2 through 9 and count 12 of the indictment include conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute alprazolam, manufacture, and general criminal behavior linked to furthering a criminal enterprise. Counts 10 and 11 of the indictment relate to the “intentional adulteration of drugs held for sale.” And Count 13 through 15 charge defendants of money laundering through numerous methods.

Authorities are still investigating the case, trying to find evidence that links the defendants to fentanyl related overdoses.


Pesawat Menteri Susi Ditembaki di Puncak Jaya

Pesawat Susi Air yang mengangkut aparat keamanan yang mengawal pemungutan suara ulang (PSU) di Distrik Lumo, Kabupaten Puncak Jaya, Jumat (16/6/2017).

Insiden penembakan terjadi saat pesawat terbang dari Lumo ke Mulia dan terkena dibagian roda.
Kapolda Papua Irjen Pol Boy Rafli mengakui adanya laporan pesawat yang mengangkut anggota polri beserta PPD dari Lumo ditembaki. Namun pesawat dapat mendarat dengan selamat di Mulia.

Ia juga menambahkan, sebelumnya pasukan pembawa logistik dengan berjalan kaki menuju Mulanikime juga ditembaki.

“Tidak ada korban dalam kedua insiden tersebut,” ungkap Boy Rafli.
PSU di Kabupaten Puncak Jaya dilaksanakan di enam distrik di 72 TPS dengan jumlah DPT sebanyak 31.240 pemilih.

Enam distrik yang melaksanakan PSU, yakni Dagai, Lumo, Yamoneri, Mulanikime, Ilamburawi dan Yambi. (Antara)


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Six Arrested In Germany For Selling Narcotics On The Dark Web

On May 31, the Special Deployment Commando (SEK) arrested six people in the area of Aachen, Germany for selling drugs, including amphetamine, on the dark web.

On May 31 evening, the SEK was tasked to perform two raids in Aachen. The first assignment took place on the corner street at about 5:00 pm, however, shortly after 7 pm, there was another police operation in Buschstraße. According to the prosecutor’s office in Aachen, both missions were related to drug-criminality. In the law enforcement operation, the SEK units detained six.

The men who were arrested were three German nationals, 23, 29 and 34 years old. The 23-year-old was arrested at his home in Buschstraße. According to the prosecutor’s office, they had a warrant for the arrest stating that the suspects violated the Narcotics Act. In addition, three other men were arrested who are being investigated by the police. In one of the arrests, investigators already released one suspect.

“Later it was reported that two arrest warrants were issued. There seems to be no suspicion against the third person, he was released several hours later,” the prosecutor’s office stated.

The 23, 29, and the 34-year-old suspects are accused of selling drugs on the dark web. According to the prosecution, all payments were conducted in bitcoins.

The investigation started when Europol provided details on the suspects, which the European agency acquired from seized darknet marketplaces in November 2014. The investigations were first conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), however, later on, it was handed to the Aachen Public Prosecutor’s Office. It is assumed that since the autumn of 2015, the defendants alone sent at least 20 kilograms of amphetamine, with the total price of at least 160,000 euros, to their customers using the national postal service. However, where the criminals kept the profits of their drug operation, is still the subject of the investigation.

Law enforcement authorities secured evidence from the suspects, including computers and amphetamine in the kilogram range. There is also a witness in the case, who will be questioned by the police later.

According to the German news publication Zeit Online, the suspects were allegedly members of a militant neo-Nazi group called “Kameradschaft Aachener Land” (KAL). The comradeship was banned in 2012 by Ralf Jäger, the interior minister of North-Rhine Westphalia, for “aggressively combative attitude … against elementary principles of the constitution”. Zeit Online claimed that the 34-year-old suspect is a “well-known” neo-Nazi. However, this information was not confirmed by the prosecutor’s office in Aachen.

The news outlet also claimed that the arrest exploded the social network, where some members of the German neo-Nazi movement stated that the police action was a conspiracy between the police and the judiciary, while others were “cursing their comrades for doing drugs”.

“It is quite clear that drugs have no place in our ranks”, neo-Nazi activist, Sven Skoda, wrote after the arrests. However, Zeit Online claimed that Skoda referred to some of the arrested suspects as “comrades, who have always stood with our courage and blood in their hearts, even in troubled times to our idea.”


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

German Standing Trial For Planning To Run A Child Prostitution Ring In Thailand

A 23-year-old man was standing trial for serious child abuse-related charges in Reutlingen, Germany.

Since there were multiple serious charges against the accused person, he could only comment on the case on the 11th day of the trial. The 23-year-old was charged with sexual abuse of children and adolescents, spreading of child pornography, as well as the planned establishment of a child prostitution ring by a business partner in Thailand, and the planned kidnapping and rape of a child, including possible “disposal” in Germany.

The 23-year-old was arrested by law enforcement authorities at the end of August, last year. Even after the suspect was placed into custody, the investigation was still running. For instance, investigators were still examining the message and chat history of the defendant.

In August, the Cambodian business partner who had been arrested by the police in Thailand, to whom the 23-year-old also maintained a sexual relationship during his time in the Asian country, asked the “dear friend” urgently for money to settle his debts, the 23-year-old said. The accused person stated that after he heard the man’s request, he had sent the first 600 euros with Western Union after his return to Germany. The defendant claimed that he sent the money for his partner because he liked him. However, in the end, he had been disappointed that this partner “was crazy and only wanted money”. According to the court documents, the Cambodian man had an accident, in which he lost his mobile phone with explicit photos of children. Investigators claimed that those photos were planned to be used for creating the child prostitution ring.

“That does not make any sense,” the judge said. According to the judge, the 23-year-old paid money to the Cambodian, so that he could go to villages in Thailand to look for boys as “sex objects” for their prostitution ring. However, on the other hand, the 23-year-old argued that the Asian man did not ask for money for activities relating to child abuse, “but for his apartment, and I wanted to provide a good environment for him.” The 23-year-old claimed that he was in love with the man, “but I never said I love you”.

In contrast with the accused person’s statement, the investigation connected him to darknet chat rooms in relevant portals. The investigation revealed that the man used “despising” language in the chat rooms, which occasionally made the judge embarrassed. Further examination showed that the F-word meant “meat” or “fresh meat” in the conversation referring to young children. On the websites, the defendant described himself as a “hot, sexy young boy”. The 23-year-old often wrote about the rape of boys, “if I do not, it makes another – and we have only one life,” the defendant wrote on
a site.

By the judge’s increasingly clear confrontation, the young man stiffened on his line of defense. He told the court that youth pornography would have fascinated him, but child porn never, “I ignored it”. That was all “fantasy”, one had “wanted to write cool in the chat,” he argued. They had never thought of opening up a “puff” in Thailand, it was all about fantasies, he told the court. The accused emphasized that every conversation he made in the darknet chat room was all about fun and fantasies.

According to the court documents, the 23-year-old allegedly met with two young men in Stuttgart. The prosecution claimed that they met at a place where a “child show” was arranged, and it was a “pure exchange of sexual fantasies”. According to the prosecution, the man wanted sex, even dropped a pill. When the accused was confronted about this, he told the court that he went to the meeting, but nothing happened, he was “tired on the way back home”.

The prosecution also claimed that the 23-year-old once asked a fellow German while he was in Thailand for a “virgin”. “I’m not a pedophile, you’re sick,” the man replied to the defendant. The accused claimed that he was just joking with and “provoking” the man.


Teenager Arrested for Facilitating Firearms Transactions

In December 2016, law enforcement from Dilsen-Stokkem became aware of an 18-year-old darknet marketplace vendor, but not just any teenage vendor—the officers discovered that the young man sought to start a small weapons business. And small only refers to the fact that it was little more than a family owned business.

The 18-year-old bought and sold Glock firearms exclusively or almost exclusively, according to the prosecuting attorney. However, he showed a growing interest in Kalashnikovs. Undercover officers met with the young man, or his business associates depending on the circumstance, for several weeks before making an arrest.

The group, or rather the 18-year-old who operated the vending account, started interacting with undercover officers through the darknet. He told the undercover officers that “money was the goal” when he interacted with them. Since the age of 16, the defendant found his way into the darknet where he started to grow accustomed to the prevalent illegal trades. From there, he and several co-defendants started the so-called “business.”

“It’s a booming business. Especially after the attacks, arms trade requires attention,” the prosecutor said. Police investigated the weapons trade online where they posed as suppliers for the 18-year-old. On December 21, authorities made the arrests. They prepared a setup wherein the two parties would meet and exchange money for a significant number of Glocks.

Some of the recent terror attacks are believed, by some government agencies, to have benefited from the darknet. Likely Bitcoin money laundering and weapons purchases. And the case of the Munich gunman set the darknet chain of events off, with regard to weapons at least.

They met in a McDonald’s in Bilzen where police quickly apprehended the defendants.

For the 18-year-old, the prosecutor pushed for a sentence of four years with deferral of one year. The prosecutor recommended that the father serve five years without a postponement. Sentencing will begin on June 19. In recent case, similar to this one, the defendants purchased deactivated weapons off the darknet. They each received five years in prison, despite significant differences the crimes.

“According to his lawyer, the teenager is a smart kid and a scout at that. But that is not the case,” prosecutor said. The defendant was not as naive and unknowing as his attorney made him out to be. Evidence from his computer revealed that, from an early age, he knew what he exactly what the darknet contained and that the darknet became an obsession of his.


Group Busted for Shipping Drugs Inside Lawnmowers

Investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) chased down a drug trafficking ring after finding a lawnmower. In 2015, the NCA intercepted a package from the Netherlands—really a crate from the Netherlands—that contained 11 packages of MDMA hidden within a lawnmower. There, an investigation began.

The investigation closed in February 2016 after the NCA gathered more than enough evidence to bring forth a guilty conviction. Fast forward to May 2017; the crew received sentences as lengthy as 14 years in prison and as brief as four months at a prison camp.

Neil Snazel, a defendant with one of the 14 year sentences, imported more than a literal ton of Class A and B drugs in lawnmower shipments. Snazel shipped the products to Derek Maguire who kept them in a storage locker at his house. Maguire stored ecstasy, cannabis and ketamine. Within a four-month period of time, Snazel arranged shipment of 15 more pieces of machinery, stuffed with illegal drugs.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, both Snazel and Maguire recently received a sentence of 14 years in prison. Maguire employed his 23-year-old daughter, Beth Maguire; his daughter’s boyfriend, a 24-year-old handed Jack Rhodes; and his 33-year-old nephew, Mark Maguire.

The family (and boyfriend) distributed the drugs shipped in by Snazel. Mark Maguire and Jack Rhodes received a “12 month sentence (suspended for two years) and 3 years and 9 months respectively.” Rhodes faced additional charges from the Greater Manchester Police regarding production and trafficking, hence his additional time. The court sentenced Mark Maguire to 10 days in a drug rehabilitation program, as well.

Beth Maguire received two concurrent four-month prison sentences for allowing the others to use her apartment as a place of business. (Sentence suspended with a two year clause.)

After authorities intercepted the first package from the Netherlands, NCA officers found 14 similar lawnmower shipments made between July and October 2015. After a brief glance at the shipping labels, the NCA connected Derek Maguire to the importation of over 1,033 kilograms of drugs. Then, through phone records and CCTV footage, officers linked Snazel, Rhodes, Beth Maguire and Mark Maguire to the same crime. Law enforcement also charged a 40-year-old man but they later acquitted him.


German Lawyer Provides Legal Information On Dark Net Drug Orders

Lawyer Philipp Rinklin, who is specialized in criminal law, provided legal information in cases where the defendants have ordered narcotics from the dark web.

“Mr. Philipp Rinklin can also support you as an expert in criminal law competently and expertly – because it is your guaranteed basic right to be represented as a defendant in a criminal case represented by a defense counsel,” a website section dedicated to the lawyer goes by on the German news outlet

Rinklin, whose office is based in Freiburg, Germany, where drug-related crimes are on the rise, says that cases in which the accused is charged with the unlawful acquisition of narcotics via the dark web are on the rise. In these cases, the lawyer advises people to consult the investigations before submitting an application. The accused is therefore advised not to make a statement in the context of an interrogation with the police.

Frequently, it is very difficult to prove that the defendant committed a criminal offense on the basis of the available evidence, if, for example, there are no documents at the post office regarding the delivery of the consignment, Rinklin explained. On the other hand, in most cases, law enforcement authorities could easily determine who ordered the narcotics. In addition, the ordered drug has often not been secured by the customers, the lawyer added.

Moreover, the legal situation is also complex because, in the case of the acquisition of narcotics, the border is limited from criminal penalties to criminal investigations only when, according to the offense, the conclusion of the transaction takes place directly in the transfer to the disposition of the narcotics, Rinklin added. The commitment of a consumer without a transaction is a mere preparation for the acquisition and not yet an attempt. The mere appointment of drugs may therefore not constitute a criminal offense at all.

According to the lawyer, it still remains unclear whether it can be shown at all by the available evidence that the drugs ordered were actually shipped and delivered. Rinklin said it is doubtful whether the limit for a criminal trial or an accomplished fact, was even exceeded. To this extent, it can’t be ruled out that there has been no shipment of the ordered narcotics.

If the defendant disputes the use of dark web, which was used to order the narcotics or does not provide any information on the matter, a conviction with the available evidence is usually not probable since ultimately it can’t be ruled out that another person with or without knowledge of the accused ordered the drugs and provided his address for the deliveries.

The lawyer also provided an example for such cases. According to him, in an instance where the drug were ordered from the dark web and shipped to the customer, the opening of the main proceedings was rejected by the District Court of Freiburg in proceedings 28 Ds 620 JS 19369/16 by resolution of 10.03.2017 in the absence of sufficient suspicion of the crime under Section 204 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.