Australian Police Seize Record Amount of Crypto From Dark Web Drug Deals

By Bill Toulas / August 21, 2021

The Victoria Police in Australia has announced the confiscation of almost $8.5 million in cryptocurrency from online drug traffickers, which is a record amount for the force. This resulted from an ongoing investigation conducted by detectives of the Criminal Proceeds Squad, which led to the arrest of two individuals, a 31-year-old woman from Kinglake and a 30-year-old man from Preston. The several search warrants executed at associated properties in the areas have also led to the seizure of various items, including drugs, vehicles, and $2.6 million in cash.

The seized crypto is Bitcoin, and the police believe it has ties with the now-defunct Silk Road, so it goes quite a long way back. Crime Commander Mick Frewen, who spoke to the local press, made the following statement:

This is the 21st-century version of drug trafficking and money laundering, with criminals using technology to enable immense amounts of community harm and misery. Police actively work on these forums and receive information from a wide range of sources including our Australian and international law enforcement partners. There may be a perception that trafficking drugs online is a safer option or one less likely to lead to detection due to relative anonymity, however, this result highlights that this is not the case.

The Commander also added that the investigators will need some time to evaluate everything that has been confiscated now, as the evidence is extensive and goes as far back as 8 years ago. In this effort, they will have the FBI’s aid, attempting to make connections with other online drug dealers and people who may have profited from these illegal operations.

Summing the crypto that was seized along with the vehicle value ($100,000), the properties ($2 million), and the cash ($2.6 million), we have a total of $13.2 million. This figure tells us how profitable selling drugs on the dark web can be. It is important to have all assets confiscated as this sends a message that whatever one makes through criminal activity won’t be retained for long.

Of course, the two individuals who were linked with the drug trafficking operation will be further inquired as the investigation progresses and will almost certainly be sentenced to imprisonment.

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