On Wednesday, the District Court of Hannover reported a set of charges in a case against an alleged drug dealer from Hannover. According to the court, the accused 29-year-old “drug dealer” had ordered cocaine and amphetamine from a darknet marketplace. In total, the alleged dealer had ordered more than three and a half kilograms of the substances.
He paid a total of 6,000 euros for the drugs. In the words of one local reporter, [6,000] is not a particularly exciting sum when it comes to drugs.” The reporter’s following statement dropped a hint or two regarding the frequency of darknet drug cases in the capital city of Lower Saxony. The reporter explained that the exciting part of the case was not the small quantity of euros associated with the case or even the 3.5 kilograms of drugs; instead, it was “how the alleged drug trader had paid for the goods – namely with Bitcoins.”
Hannover, however, is not new to Bitcoin. Nor is the city unaware of the darknet. Most recently, perhaps, was a story that made mainstream media: a father and son with orange Donald Trump ecstasy pills. Their car had Austrian tags, but German police stopped them as they travelled from the Netherlands to Hannover. While they clearly lived outside of Hannover, there was no failure to mention Hannover by the media. (And how those pills were connected to stories about the darknet was somewhat misleading by a reporter). The pills only “came from” the darknet because a darknet vendor sells them.
The Landeskriminalamt (State Criminal Police Office, LKA) in Hannover made their knowledge of the darknet clear during 2016. Germany had a significant problem controlling counterfeit euros. Hannover was particularly overwhelmed; according to Nevin Ayyildiz, a spokesperson for the LKA, counterfeit 20-notes and 50-notes made up more than 60 percent of Hannover’s cash flow. These counterfeits, almost exclusively, were attributed to the Napoli Group who had branched out through sales on darknet marketplaces.
Bitcoin is one of the least striking elements of a darknet market bust. At least in some parts of the world. The 29-year-old from Hannover is facing charges for unusually outdated crimes, however. According to the prosecutor, the alleged drug dealer had ordered speed and cocaine (and other “synthetics”) in 2015. He only recently heard the charges in court.
Furthermore, while law enforcement may have intercepted a package of cocaine and/or speed, they only “suspected” that he had wanted to distribute the drugs. The quantity of the drugs he had ordered—3.5 kilograms combined—likely pushed him over the distribution limit. His hearing has been scheduled for September 13.