Detectives from Spain’s national police force have arrested a man described as a major dark web cannabis dealer.
Officers detained the man in Malaga on suspicion of using three online tools designed to shield their users’ location, namely the Tor onion browser, encryption technology and the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
He was arrested following the linking of his home to the dark web cannabis supply conspiracy after police discovered the property was being used to prepare drug deals made on illicit hidden online marketplaces.
The operation that led to the man being detained began last year when Spanish officers began a probe into individuals using the dark web and other technology to sell drugs.
In a statement, police said the platforms on which dark web drug dealers sell their illicit products often have eBay-style rating and feedback systems, allowing traders to build their reputation by offering high levels of customer service.
Some dark web illicit marketplaces also offer buyers and sellers the opportunity to communicate and exchange information over instant chat services and in hidden online forums.
“Thanks to the investigation, one of the most active hashish online sellers has been arrested,” Policia Nacional said in a statement.
“The arrest was made at his home, located in the Malaga town of Mijas, when he was connected to the dark web.
“During the operation, officers seized 2kgs of herbal cannabis prepared for distribution in small packages, two computers, a telephone, envelopes and packaging material, a vacuum packing machine and cutting and weighing tools.
“The operation remains open for the identification and location of more than 60 online sellers who are being investigated.”
Separately, an investigation conducted by BuzzFeed and UK broadcaster Channel 4 has revealed that rapists are attacking gay and bisexual men in Britain after they have taken psychoactive drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) at so-called chem sex parties while they are comatose and livestreaming the assaults on the dark web.
A survey of 2,700 gay and bisexual men on which the investigation was partly based found that one in four had been sexually assaulted after taking the drug, which has been popular with gay and bisexual men since the 1990s.
One man told reporter Patrick Strudwick: “I know of somebody who was dead on the sofa at a sex party.
“The party went on for more than a day and nobody bothered to check on him. He’d been dead for two days after a G overdose…
“People say it’s like being drunk. It’s not. It’s like being dead, but still walking.”