Duo Arrested For Sourcing Narcotics Over Darknet Markets

Duo Arrested For Sourcing Narcotics Over Darknet Markets
Rate our article

The recent arrest of two 21-year-old students in Kolkata for possessing narcotics allegedly purchased from the dark web has alerted authorities to the increasing threat of the dark web. The two are facing some hefty sentences for their crimes and will stand before the court this week for their final verdict.

Dark Web Users In Kolkata

India is one of the most popular listed destinations in Asia for the shipment of narcotic substances traded over the dark web. The country makes up the biggest marketplace for dark web users compared to South America and Australia, with 26% of its internet users accessing the dark web. These two students are not the only Darknet users to have purchased drugs in recent days.

In the most recent incident, two 21-year-old suspects from Kolkata’s Jadavpur area were arrested on September 9th, 2023, by Special Task Force of Kolkata Police (STF) for possessing imported weed (cannabis) to the weight of 851 gm. 

The team acted on a credible source and two persons-namely Tanishq Pandey, 21, and Vivek Agrahari, 21, were detained at 07.35 pm near Purba Jadavpur police station area for the possession of imported weed from the dark web.

A spokesperson and officer of the STF

The two suspects were charged with contravention of sections 20(b)(ii)(A)/29/35 NDPS ACT, and were arrested near the Jadavpur University. The incident highlights the need for officials to clamp down on dark-net operated markets and their link to cryptocurrencies.

Despite the dark web being a hub for illegal activities, the Indian government and many other countries don’t prohibit accessing the dark web. Accessing the platform is entirely legal, with no laws suggesting otherwise. This is for many reasons; While Tor and the darknet are often associated with illicit activities, there are legitimate and beneficial aspects to them. Protection of privacy, freedom of expression, research, and security all have their part in the Darknet.

However, this doesn’t mean that users of the dark web are free to do what they want; purchasing narcotics and other prohibited substances is illegal.

It’s not uncommon for users to purchase narcotics and other illegal items from other countries and have them shipped in. Usually the package will be shipped in some sort of concealer, like a candle. But these are often intercepted, and in many countries, you’ll just get a ” love letter ” from the postal service informing you of the finding. It’s not always possible to say who sent a package or why, so purchases are often safe. Not in the case of these two college students.

In the past several years, the dark web has become notoriously linked to the illicit sale of narcotics in India. In the last two years, there have been several incidents where LSD has been bought on the dark web using bitcoin as payment, uncovering a darker side of cryptocurrencies. Crack down on darknet usage is at an all time high, and we’re seeing stricter rules enforced.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) published an annual report in 2021 that analyzed the Indian drug industry and spoke about the global phenomenon of buying drugs over the dark web, in particular through the use of cryptocurrencies.

The report indicated that, “India was among the most frequently mentioned destination countries for shipments of synthetic stimulants sold on 19 major darknet markets analyzed by UNODC between 2011 and 2020.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

In recent months, officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), an Indian central law enforcement and intelligence agency, arrested six university students from New Delhi and other states who were allegedly involved in a pan-India drugs traffic network operated on the darknet.

The Narcotics Control Bureau claimed the bust to have been the “largest ever” seizure of 15,000 LSD blots in one operation. The bureau further confirmed that the network, which operated on the darknet, used cryptocurrencies as a method of payment. The issue continues.

The operation was spread across international countries such as; the Netherlands, Poland, the US and various Indian states. According to the NCB, drugs are consigned from the Netherlands and are purchased through the dark web market. 

When reporting on these two individuals, Shivdeep Lande, former Mumbai’s deputy commissioner of police, stated;

The facts confirm that if there should arise an occurrence of medications like LSD the dark web is a major provider.

Shivdeep Lande, former Mumbai’s deputy commissioner of police


The recent arrests of narcotics dealers highlight the overall success for LE and the fight against the use of cryptocurrencies on the dark web. In addition, the issue of cyber crimes and the use of privacy coins has been on the agenda of regulatory authorities in many countries. There will be a strong fight back from the Darknet userbase who fight for OpSec, and a sense of privacy untouched by governments.