Finnish Police Bust the “Onion Channel”

Sipulikanava Takedown Banner

On November 1, Finnish police forces and Finnish Customs Enforcement brought down Sipulikanava aka the “Onion Channel.” The site was one of a few sites seized by authorities that did not fit into the drug market or abuse forum categories.

Like 4chan, the Onion Channel was simply an imageboard. It did contain illegal content and users did arrange drug deals through it. The police conducted intensified drug monitoring on 9-29 October, 2017. In addition to normal surveillance, surveillance was carried out on a network where narcotics are also being transmitted through anonymous darknet sales channels.

All police units and the Central Bureau of Investigation participated in the monitoring. During the surveillance, a total of 332 criminal reports were recorded in Finland, 116 of which related to online narcotics offenses. In online surveillance, criminal records were recorded in the area of the Helsinki Police Department (20 notices), the Häme Police Department (20 notices) and the Eastern Finland Police Department (17 notices). In the street surveillance, in turn, criminal reports were recorded in the area of the Finnish Police Office (85 notices), the Southwest Finland Police Department (52 notices) and the Lapland Police Department (28 notices).

The Central Bureau of Investigation was involved in operational activities with institutions and co-ordinated supervision at national level. Customs also supported the operation for its part. In addition to drugs, weapons and cash were confiscated During the three-week period of surveillance, there were 396 suspected offenders, of whom 199 were apprehended, 67 were arrested and 19 were imprisoned.