Australian police officers crack down on Darknet vendors as users further prove they’ve found their next victim. South Australian Police officials captured an Adelaide man who racked up more than $1.5 million in cryptocurrency through trafficking drugs on the dark web.
A 25-year-old Adelaide Hills man has been arrested and charged by South Australian Police for selling a variety of toxic narcotics on darknet markets and money laundering through the use of cryptocurrency.
SA Police allege that the individual operated several vendor profiles on the dark web, for the purpose of distributing narcotics. Detective Superintendent Adam Rice spoke about the arrest at a press conference.
He alleged that the individual used several profiles, each to sell different illicit drugs. He confirmed that, “each profile was selling a variety of illicit drugs including nitazene.” The police suspected the individual to have sourced drugs and packaging materials in bulk.
Customers would then place orders through his darknet vendor profile. It still remains unclear which darknet markets had been used. However, police revealed images which suggested the individual used the pseudonym “DopaminDealer”.
DopaminDealer was a level 5 vendor with a success rate of 95%. A vendor’s level is determined by the satisfaction and reliability of their service. Furthermore, the vendor received payment for drugs in Bitcoin and Monero.
SA police believe the individual had prepared and distributed packages across the country. In total, the police have estimated the individual over $1.5 million in cryptocurrency through the sale of illicit drugs on the dark web.
What We Know About the Investigation
In early 2023, The Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Unit launched “Operation Reveal”. The operation targeted online illicit activities on the dark web, the distribution and sale of illicit drugs.
Financial and Cybercriminal investigating officer Adam Rice stated that, “An investigation identified illicit activity on the Dark Web marketplace which was attributed to a real life person in South Australia”.
The investigation further identified and traced cryptocurrency used by the offender, which led to the successful search and seizure operation. Between September 20th to September 22nd, police officials searched a residential address and two storage units located in Adelaide Hills.
Police seized a number of illicit drugs, cash, cryptocurrency, electronic devices, property, and other evidence in conjunction with the offender. Police seized an estimated 5 kilograms of nitazene, a synthetic opioid which was of “particular concern’.
Nitazene is a highly toxic drug, like fentanyl, but in its case has never been cleared for human consumption. In July 2023, The South Australian Health released a warning about protonitazene. The department confirmed overdoses and two other cases where the drug was suspected to have played a part.
On October 5th, police held a press conference and showcased a number of items seized during the bust, including an encrypted laptop. The laptop was allegedly imported, and fitted with the highest level of encryption software. A piece of equipment that is used for trading illicit substances over the dark web.
Amongst other items, the police seized tens of thousands of cash and a diamond ring to the value of $40 000. The biggest find was an estimated $1.5 million in cryptocurrencies, which linked the sale of illicit substances to the accused.
On Wednesday, September 20th, following a search and seizure operation, South Australian Police arrested a 25-year-old Adelaide man. The name and particulars of the individual remain unclear.
The individual was charged with 19 counts of trafficking in a controlled drug, 5 counts of trafficking in a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, money laundering, and possession of prescribed equipment.
The accused was then taken into police custody and appeared before a court. The individual remains in police custody and will reappear in court at a later date. Speaking on the arrest, Detective Superintendent Adam Rice stated that criminals who used the dark web to perform illegal activities were not beyond the reach of law enforcement.
Rice spoke about the dark web being a hub of illegal activities for the sale of illegal weapons and other materials. In his address to dark web criminals, he alluded that,
“You are not anonymous on the dark web. Police are investigating online platforms and will continue to bring people before the courts for criminal offending in these environments”.
Hey there, I’m a dark web geek who’s been around for the last 8 years. More precisely, I’m livedarknet’s senior content writer who’s been writing about darknet marketplaces, tutorials, and cybersecurity stuff for educational purposes.