$400,000 In Bitcoin Seized in the Arrest of German Deepweb Vendors
We reported in July that German law enforcement was planning to crack down on deepweb vendors, and the results of their increased cyber investigations have been paying off.
A joint operation between Germany’s Central Office of Cybercrime and the Federal Customs Administration has led to the arrest of four German individuals involved in deepweb narcotics trafficking.
On August 11th, German law enforcement conducted searches of six properties in eastern Bavaria where the four suspects allegedly conducted business. The search resulted in the finding of 11 kilograms of amphetamine, 150 grams of cocaine, 250 grams of heroin, 175 grams of MDMA, 1,425 ecstasy pills, 645 grams of marijuana, and an indoor growing operation with 72 marijuana plants in various stages of growth. Cash was also seized and the approximate market value of the drugs, according to a German news outlet, was around $150,000.
Computers and hard drives were seized, leading to the discovery of a bitcoin wallet containing close to $400,000 worth of bitcoin. An arrest warrant was issued the following day and all four men were taken into custody. It appears these men were two 31-year-olds, a 54-year-old, and a 25-year-old.
The bitcoin wallet belonged to one of the men but the State Prosecutors office has not released which of the men owned it – and more importantly, their names have not yet been revealed.
One of the men has been identified as a German deepweb forum owner, known by the community as ‘WhiteDragon.’ These men were investigated for selling on a German deepweb forum, rather than the conventional markets used in deepweb drug deals.
According to the statement by German authorities, the men used Bitmessage to finalize the transactions and same day deliveries were often conducted, requiring them to be available 24/7.
The information available at this time is incredibly limited, but it is speculated that these men operated on various darknet markets under different names, as well as selling on the forums.
However, the type of forum the men were using to solicit their products is not one typically meant to be used as a medium for drug trafficking. These types of forums are generally “top-level” deepweb sites, very similar to the clearnet forum “Topix” that has garnered attention for attracting localized drug sales.