Security & Fraud

Finland Customs Agents Seized Drugs, Money From Dark Web

Finland customs agents announced on Friday (Aug. 26) they seized around €1 million earlier in 2016 in connection with a operation that was being run on an online dark market. In a statement, the Finnish customs agency also said it stopped around 15 kilos of drugs, totaling 10 million doses and valued on the street at about €1.1 million.

Three Finnish people are suspected of trying to bring more than 40 pounds of powdered drugs, more than 40,000 ecstasy tablets, 30,000 tabs of LSD, a variety of “designer” drugs and pure methamphetamine into Finland. In a translated version of the Finland customs agency’s statement, it said the suspects are around 30 years old and are natives of southwest Finland and the Helsinki metropolitan area. Customs is cooperating in the investigation with the Netherlands, the U.S., Germany, Latvian authorities and Europol. The three individuals have been in jail since April when the customs agents seized the drugs.

In a report by CoinDesk, a representative of Finland’s customs office said the online drug site was named Valhalla, which has been in operation since Oct. 2013. Valhalla is still operational, according to the report. The site is referred to as the “Online Drug Shop,” according to the Finland customs agency, and came to prominence in 2014 after the operators of the website marketed themselves by sending potential buyers free LSD. The website runs via the Tor browser and appears to have accepted bitcoin for payment, the report noted.

Selling drugs on the Dark Web has become a big business for the bad guys. But it’s also raising the attention of law enforcement around the globe, which have been announcing more arrests. Earlier this month, federal prosecutors in California accused two men from Brooklyn of selling drugs on Dark Web marketplace AlphaBay.

According to a report, the two men — Abudullah Almashwali and Chaudhry Ahmad Farooq — sold heroin and cocaine on the AlphaBay marketplace, using the aliases Area51 and DarkApollo. Almashwali, 31, a Yemeni national, and Farooq, 24, a Pakistani national, were charged last week with conspiracy and distributing heroin and cocaine. DarkApollo made $139,000 selling about 610 grams of heroin and 25 grams of cocaine. Area51 sold 810 grams of heroin and 47 grams of cocaine.

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