Police officials in Bengaluru, the capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka, have arrested ten drug peddlers who have been using bitcoin (BTC) to purchase drugs from the dark web.
According to a local media report, the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) had initiated a special drive to fight against hard drugs that are purchased through the dark web using BTC as a means of payment.
The police had reportedly registered about eight drug cases and seized drugs worth Rs 90 lakh (~$120,827) since the project began.
The authorities also conducted several raids in different locations within the city during the last week and had arrested ten drug peddlers who had allegedly been supplying these drugs to college students and other residents.
After conducting a series of investigations, the police found out that the accused had been purchasing the drugs using bitcoin and getting them delivered as gift packs from abroad via several legal shipping companies including Indian Post.
The arrested peddlers include nine Indians and a Nigerian immigrant residing in Benniganahalli, Bengaluru. Police conducted the raids in eight different parts of the city including HSR Layout, Vijayanagar, Mahalakshmipuram, Halasuru, KG Halli, Indiranagar, HAL, and Ramamurthy Nagar.
The police reportedly seized a large number of drugs and other items from the accused, including 660 LSD papers, 386 MDMA, 180 ecstasy tablets, 12 grams of MDMA crystal, 10 grams of cocaine, and 12 mobile phones, three laptops, two-wheelers, and postal covers.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the city’s Commissioner of Police, Kamal Pant, said: “The CCB police, along with Bengaluru Customs officials, arrested the accused in a joint operation. Using darknet websites like Empire Market, Silk route, Drug Board, and other banned websites, the accused were importing various kinds of drugs, including sedatives. by paying through bitcoin.”
The CCB also added that eight cases have been registered at eight different police stations in Bengaluru and that they have brought the accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
A few weeks ago, 179 suspects were arrested in a joint operation by several international law enforcement agencies, and $6.5 million was seized from drug dealers on the dark web.
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