Italian Police Arrest Man who Hired Hitman on the Dark Web

Published: 13 April 2021

Italian PoliceItalian Police fight dark web. (Photo: Italian Police)

By Julett Pineda Sleinan

Italian authorities said they have arrested a 40-year-old man who allegedly hired a hitman on the dark web to cause life-changing injuries to his ex-girlfriend who had left him.

Officials said the suspect was an IT expert from the Italian region of Lombardy and that he commissioned the attack via an assassination website on the dark web, paying the attacker 10,000 euros (nearly US$12,000) in Bitcoins.

Italian law enforcement received an alert of the requested murder after officials from another European country intercepted the conversations, which revealed the man had commissioned the crime.

Europol, European Union’s law enforcement agency, helped Italian authorities trace and identify the provider from which the suspect purchased the cryptocurrencies, who later provided officials with further information on who requested the killing.

Italian authorities said they successfully prevented the suspect from carrying out the gender-based crime, reportedly seeking to injure the victim with acid and leave her in a wheelchair.

This isn’t the first time authorities jail a suspect for requesting the services of a hitman on the dark web.

Sites advertising murder and torture ‘services’ have proliferated on the darknet over the past years, with some even offering to poison, beat, or blind the victim.

In a similar case, U.S. prosecutors said that a woman from Illinois pleaded guilty in 2019 to attempted first-degree murder. She admitted that she had hired a dark-web company to kill the wife of a man with whom she had an affair.

The woman paid $12,000 in Bitcoin to Sicilian Hitmen International Network, an assassination site on the darknet, for the murder, U.S. attorneys said.

Experts and law enforcers told The New York Times last year that these sites are just another profitable scam that seeks to defraud people who request a murder, especially since there’s no way to guarantee that the hitman will commit the killing. Instead, people who hire the hitman end up in jail if caught.