Australian Woman Attempts Hitman Hire on Darknet to Murder Parents

Another Fake Hitman
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A 29-year-old woman from Canberra has pleaded guilty to inciting another person to commit murder after allegedly using the darknet to hire a hitman to kill her parents. Naturally, it was a fake website. Although initially denying all charges, she changed her plea to guilty on two counts of incitement to murder, while maintaining her innocence on other charges including money laundering and theft.

Key Insights

  • The suspect is a 29-year-old woman from Canberra plead guilty to two counts of incitement to murder.
  • She transferred $35,000 from her parents’ account to her own without permission.
  • The suspect had just $2.36 in her account, while her parents were worth $8 million.
  • She agreed to pay $20,000 to the fraudulent darknet site, Sinaloa Marketplace, for the murders.
  • A “British journalist” discovered the murder scheme and alerted ACT Policing. Most likely a Honey pot, though.
  • ACT Police traced the initial $6,000 Bitcoin payment to the suspect.
  • The journalist’s evidence was contested by the suspect’s lawyer but was ultimately admitted by the court.
  • The safety of the suspect’s parents was ensured following the police investigation.

A 29-year-old woman from Canberra pleaded guilty to inciting another individual to commit murder. Local authorities allege the suspect used the dark web to engage with the hitman and order the murder of her parents.

The unnamed suspect, 29, allegedly transferred $35,000 from her parent’s account to her own personal account without their permission. At the time, the suspect’s parents were worth an estimated $8 million, and she had just $2.36 to her name.

The prosecution alleges that the suspect used the stolen funds to hire a hitman off a dark web murder-to-hire site. She allegedly agreed to pay $20,000 to a fraudulent dark web murder-for-hire site known as the Sinaloa Marketplace. As we’ve seen before, there’s never been a successful Hitman ordered from the Dark Web.

“This was certainly an unusual matter for the ACT but we have seen an increase in crime online, and certainly crime involving the dark web.”

Sergeant Beth McMullen

The suspect was due to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court this week but pleaded guilty to two counts of incitement to murder. 

What We Know About the Incident

The facts of the incident have not yet been fully disclosed. However, it is alleged that the suspect used a dark web forum called “The Sinaloa Cartel Marketplace” to place a $20,000 murder hit on her parents in September 2020.

The forum administrator of the Sinaloa Cartel Marketplace, who used the name ‘Juan’, agreed to carry out the contract. The suspect agreed to pay half the fee upfront and the second payment once she received her inheritance, worth one third of $8million. 

According to the police reports, ACT Police believed the forum administrator of the murder-to-hire site was a scam artist and had no intention of carrying out the murders of the suspect’s parents. 

The murder scheme was uncovered in October 2020 after ACT Policing received a tip-off from a British journalist. The journalist discovered the murder scheme while researching the dark web for a series commissioned by the BBC. 

The journalist informed the police that someone had made a payment and shared details about how to target the suspect’s parents. After receiving the tip-off, law enforcement authorities took further steps to ensure the safety of the victims and traced the suspects’ internet activity.

Detectives from ACT policing executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home in Fadden on December 7th, 2020. The seizure operation was successful as investigators managed to seize computer equipment to assist the investigation. 

The police investigators confirmed the link between the suspect and the murder-to-hire scheme after establishing the initial BTC payment worth $6000 had originated from an account under her name. Upon further investigation the police discovered that the funds the suspect used to make the payment were part of the alleged stolen sum of monies from her parents.

The police investigators further acknowledged that the dark web site offered fraudulent services, similar “murder-for-hire” scams on the darkweb. However, police expressed their concerns about the suspect’s state of mind and the possibility that she would commit violent crimes in the future.

Acting Sergeant Beth McMullen said that the “Police believe the woman was motivated by financial gain and had to act quickly to ensure there was no threat to the safety of the victims in this matter.

Sergeant Beth McMullen further stated that it was a complex investigation “due to the report originating overseas and being able to track and verify the dark web payment.” ACT Policing authorities liaised with international law enforcement on the investigation to seek additional evidence, which led to the successful seizure of the equipment.

McMullen insisted that the incident was an unusual matter for the ACT, but there has been an increase of criminal activities online and “certain crimes involving the dark web.” He also stated that the parents of the suspect fully cooperated with the police and provided useful information to the investigation.

At this time, ACT policing has yet to discover where the Sinaloa Cartel Marketplace is based. McMullen assured the public that inquiries are ongoing at the moment in relation to the matter.

Arrest and Charges

The unnamed 29-year-old female suspect from Canberra was arrested in December 2020 and charged with two counts of inciting murder, money laundering, and theft. She also faces charges of burglary and using a telecommunications network with intent to facilitate a serious offence.

The suspect’s lawyer Jon White told the ACT Supreme Court last week, that the person the police “say uncovered the plan had not revealed any actual communication.” The suspect’s attorney further stated that he wanted the evidence from the journalist to be left out of her trial, which is expected to be held in March.

Mr White argued that the evidence the state had collected to prosecute the individual was second or third-hand hearsay. During the trial, the suspect originally entered pleas of not guilty to a wide range of charges in the ACT Supreme Court.

Mr Dyason, head of the prosecution, told the court that the establishment of a Bitcoin account allegedly used to pay for the contract required the identification and personal details of the suspect.

Despite the suspect’s argument to have the evidence dismissed as hearsay, the ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum ruled the evidence should be allowed in Friday’s trial. The decision to allow the evidence into court led to the suspect amended her plea and pleaded guilty on two counts of inciting another to murder. 

However, the suspect’s not guilty pleas remain for her additional charges of misappropriation of $15,000 from her mother and $20,000 from both parents and dealing in money from the proceeds of a crime.

The suspect remains in custody after contravening 3 bail conditions and will be sentenced by the ACT Supreme Court later this year.