Trends 2020

High-Tech Dutch Drug Dealers 3D Print Drug Smuggling Containers, Get Paid in Bitcoins

The NL Times reports that the Dutch police arrested four suspects in Amsterdam and Werkendam in connection with drug trade on the dark web. They acted as vendors and sent drugs to thousands of people world wide, hidden cleverly in 3D printed makeup powder boxes, Nintendo games and ink cartridges, among other things, the police said in a statement on Friday.

The police confiscated the vendor accounts on Dream Market and arrested four suspects – a 48-year-old man from Werkendam, and two men aged 32 and 50 and a 36-year-old woman from Amsterdam. The three Amsterdam suspects were caught red handed – logged on to the dark web on their computers. The Werkendam suspect was arrested in a room with 3D printers (it is unclear if they were DIY or purchased). The police believe he was printing drug packaging material. The police searched five houses and an office in Amsterdam, and a house and a shed in Werkendam.

According to the police, the four suspects were involved in sending tens of thousands of postal parcels containing narcotics around the world. “They acted as a mail order company for drugs.” Among the suspects’ digital records, lists were found showing thousands of names and addresses of buyers over the past years. In Werkendam the police seized the 3D printers, a home and a shed. In Amsterdam the police seized three cars, a “fair amount” of narcotics and bitcoins. A firearm was found in both Amsterdam and Werkendam. These weapons were also seized.

When the police took over the Hansa market on the dark web in May 2017, their attention was drawn to vendor account Doug-Heffernan. This Dutch vendor account was one of the largest and responsible for the trade in cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA, LSD and other drugs. When the police took down the Hansa market, they retrieved a wealth of information, including the identities of the people suspected to be behind Doug-Heffernan.

But after the police action on the Hansa market, the name Doug-Heffernan completely disappeared off the dark web. The same applied to other accounts believed to be run by the same suspects, including ‘Coca Cola Kid’, and ‘Warner Bros’. “The suspects seem to have stopped all their trade”, the police said. Months later, new vendor accounts started emerging on another dark web illegal market place called Dream Market. “Under the names Smurfs, mr Bubblegum, Rubiks and DrugsGames, new web shops in hard drugs were opened and a new dark web drug trade company was being built, until the Dutch police put an end to it on Tuesday.”

 

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