UK Police Dismantles Dark Web Drug Ring
British authorities said they have seized drugs worth 4.3 million pounds (nearly US$6 million) from suspected members of a criminal network that sold MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, amphetamines and other narcotics on the dark web.
The U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested last week two suspects and raided premises in London and northeastern England in a joint operation with the U.S. Homeland Security.
Officers seized mobile phones, computers and drug packaging paraphernalia, the agency said in a statement on Friday.
Last summer, the NCA intercepted parcels of MDMA set to ship to several global locations and after accessing messages exchanged by gang members via EncroChat, a now extinct encrypted phone network widely used by organized crime, police identified the suspects and launched the searches.
The group imported drugs from the Netherlands to the U.K. and then sold them on the dark web using the handles HundredsUK, Hundredsandthousands, Sundaefundae, and 100and1000s.
Packages intercepted by police were reportedly destined for addresses in the U.K., the U.S., Israel, Norway, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.
One of the arrested suspects admitted posting over 100 packages.
Throughout the operation officials have recovered 90 kilograms of MDMA, 134 kilograms of Amphetamine and more than 6,000 Diazepam tablets worth millions of dollars.
“This investigation shows that those who try to use the dark web and encrypted communication devices to anonymously commit crimes can be identified,” NCA Operations Manager Martin Clarke said.
Police continue to search for two more suspects believed to be overseas.