Finnish Police Bust the “Onion Channel”

Finnish Police Bust the “Onion Channel”

On November 1, Finnish police forces and Finnish Customs Enforcement brought down Sipulikanava aka the “Onion Channel.” The site was over of the 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 blacknet 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.

For example, 2.7 kilograms of amphetamine, 500 grams of methamphetamine, 1500 ecstasy tablets, 3.6 kilograms of marijuana and over 300 opioid-dependent substitution regimens were seized in the surveillance. Nearly 2500 tablets have been seized with Ravatril, which has been widely exposed.

In addition to drugs, four firearms were seized and some 30,000 euros of cash were confiscated. In addition, 30 persons were searched for in search of control.

Drugs are becoming more and more online

The on-line surveillance was mainly directed at the Sip-channel in the Tor network and during the control over Finland, persons who sold the drugs through the channel were captured from across Finland.

The Sipul channel was closed on November 1, 2017 in a joint operation between Customs and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Customs investigates the case as an aggravated drug offense.

Police Inspector Teemu Saukoniemi of the Police Administration says that in addition to basic drug offenses, a number of serious narcotics offenses were uncovered in connection with the surveillance of the network.

– The suspects were largely young people born in the 1990’s. Some of the detainees have been the first suspects in the crime, he says.

According to Saukoniemi, one of the aims of the online surveillance operation was to develop the police’s capacity to expose narcotics offenses nationwide by introducing good practices from those police units that have had more experience here.

– The results of the online screening exercise show that alongside traditional drug crime, anti-crime measures should also be targeted at online drug trafficking, and I believe that online monitoring will be increased on the basis of these experiences, Saukoniemi says.

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