Two Melbourne residents have been charged by Victorian police for their alleged involvement in a dark web drug trafficking ring operating out of Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs.
A 42-year-old Cranbourne man was charged with trafficking large commercial quantities of THC, LSD, and cannabis, and possessing proceeds of crime. While officers charged a 39-year-old Narre Warren woman with possessing cannabis, MDMA, LSD, and THC, and proceeds of crime.
Both individuals allegedly formed part of a drug trafficking delivery scheme operated on the dark web. Victorian police further interviewed a 67-year-old Cranbourne man; however, he was released without charges.
South Australian police have vowed to catch criminals who use the dark web to sell and distribute illicit substances. The arrests come weeks after Australia’s biggest-ever $1.5 million “Nitazene” drug bust.
Police arrested a 25-year-old Adelaide Hills man for operating several illicit vendor profiles on the dark web. The recent arrests have led many Australian officials to assume that the drug trade has become reliant on the anonymity of the dark web to distribute products.
Details of the Investigation
In June 2023, Victoria’s drug unit became aware of suspicious drug activity after detecting 150 boxes containing illicit drugs. The police immediately launched a formal investigation into the drug trafficking circle. To them, it was clear this was part of a Darknet marketplace drug operation.
Officers linked the 150 illicit parcels to a vendor operating through the dark web. Criminal’s tactically use the dark web as a means of encryption and to conduct illegal activities without detection.
On Wednesday, October 18th, Victorian police raided three properties in Cranbourne, Cranbourne North, and Narre Warren. Alleged the same address was used to send the illicit packages.
According to the report, officers searched a property in Cranbourne and seized two firearms, large quantities of LSD tablets, $5000 in cash, THC gummies, THC cookies, cannabis, cannabis oils, and cannabis resin. Furthermore, police seized an Isuzu D Max ute, believed to be used in delivery of illicit substances.
While conducting a search of a Narre Warren property, officers found similar illicit substances on the property. Officials seized large quantities of cannabis, LSD tablets, THC cookies, MDMA, cannabis resin, a disclosed amount of cash, and two cryptocurrency seeds.
Crypto seeds, or otherwise known as recovery phrases, are a series of randomly generated words by a crypto wallet. These words are used to gain access to cryptocurrency associated with a wallet or blockchain.
The discovery of two cryptocurrency seeds is a major breakthrough for the investigation. Cryptocurrencies are used on the dark web as a method of payment, the crypto seeds therefore could be used to link the illicit sale of drugs on the dark web.
Police officials have urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers, as the investigation is ongoing.
In a significant operation conducted by Victoria’s Major Drug Unit, law enforcement authorities achieved a successful search and seizure, resulting in the apprehension of two individuals. The primary suspect in this case was a 42-year-old man from Cranbourne, who now faces multiple charges related to drug trafficking. The charges encompass the alleged trafficking of substantial quantities of LSD, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis), cannabis, and the possession of proceeds obtained from criminal activities. As a consequence of these charges, he is scheduled to make an appearance in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where legal proceedings will be initiated.
In addition to the arrest of the Cranbourne man, law enforcement officers also took action against a 39-year-old woman from Narre. She is facing charges related to the possession of various illegal substances, including cannabis, MDMA, LSD, and THC. Furthermore, she is charged with possessing proceeds derived from criminal activities.
After her arrest, she was released on bail, with a court appearance scheduled for June 11, 2024, at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court. This operation underscores the efforts of law enforcement to combat drug-related offenses and maintain public safety. Legal proceedings will follow to determine the outcomes of these charges and provide due process to the individuals involved.
Conclusion: Arrests are Rampant
Over the past few months, law enforcement agencies have been making significant strides against Darknet vendors in particular. This was is just one example of the ongoing crackdown on drug trafficking and related crimes. The fact that more vendors are being apprehended on a weekly basis is a testament to the dedication and determination of these agencies to uphold the law and ensure the safety and well-being of the community.
The successful search and seizure operations, followed by legal proceedings, highlight the commitment of law enforcement to tackle the drug trade head-on. These efforts not only disrupt illegal drug networks but also send a strong message that such activities will not go unpunished. Looks like the focus is no longer on markets as a whole, but more on those selling the drugs.
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.