Mumbai: Cyber cops keep vigil for drug deals on dark web

With a tight leash over the drug cartel in the city resulting in several arrests, the drug cartel nexus has moved to the dark web, with its existence providing a helping hand to youngsters seeking banned international drugs. In a crackdown, the Mumbai Police's cyber cell has joined hands with the Narcotics Control Bureau to put an end to the sale/availability of drugs over the dark web. The dark web has given an access to a platform where the youth trade drugs like hashish, ecstasy and LSD, and make the transactions through Bitcoins to avert a trail back to them.

A senior cyber police official said that many high-end expensive party drugs are being ordered directly via the dark-web, eliminating the peddler as the middleman. However these drugs are ordered from International markets, and such websites can be accessed only via a few secret search engines. These drugs are brought in India from countries like Holland, USA and Western Europe. These deals are then finalised after paying in crypto currency (Bitcoin).

Recently, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) apprehended six people in Mumbai and seized a total 123 blots of LSD (commercial quantity), 30 gram curated marijuana (buds), Mephedrone and hashish in small quantities. Cyber cops claimed that dark web has an array of platforms, which is vastly used for illegal trade with no track records or trails leading to them.

A cyber expert said, “The dark web is that corner of the internet that is not easily accessible to the users. However, it exists. These dealers on the dark web do not generally try to cheat the customers, as they want to increase their customer base, and provide loyalty as well as anonymity.”

Another officer said, on condition of anonymity, “The drug deals over the Internet (Dark Web) makes it difficult to track as it completely eliminates whatever chances we have of a human spy.” Along with drugs, other illegal trade on these platforms includes that of hacking software, crypto currencies and shares.

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