SEOUL, Dec. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — A number of South Koreans have been arrested for selling drugs such as methamphetamine, marijuana and LSD on the Dark Web, where it is difficult to track IP address.
While drug sales via SNS have increased, this is the first time for the prosecutors to apprehend operators of Dark Web sites and shut down the sites completely.
A total of nine suspects were arrested, including the mastermind behind the operation, an individual referred to only as Shin, and dealers, all of whom were in their 20s and 30s.
According to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, Shin had attracted 636 members to a drug-specialized Dark Web site since March, and 16 teams participated in manufacturing, selling and smuggling drugs.
The Dark Web was developed by the U.S Army in the past and can only be accessed using certain specialized browsers.
Because it is difficult to track down users, the Dark Web has been used in crimes such as the distribution of child pornography, drugs and weapons transactions.
The criminals apprehended recently were using encrypted messages and virtual currency called ‘dark coin’ to hide transaction records.
When the prosecutors shut down the website, they discovered that all the criminals caught were living off the money they earned from illegal transactions.
The investigation confirmed that college students and the unemployed without a record of drug abuse were responsible for such illegal transactions.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)