Investigators from the Hamburg Customs Investigation Office arrested one of the largest darkweb vendors in Germany, according to a Customs press release. Authorities said the suspect shipped between 300 and 400 packages of drugs every week.
According to the announcement, Customs investigators arrested one of the top 20 darkweb vendors in Germany in May 2020. The suspect, a 42-year-old from Hamburg, allegedly sold marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, ecstasy, and amphetamine.
Authorities have not yet disclosed many details about the investigation into the suspected darkweb vendor.
The arrest followed a large-scale investigation led by special units of the Customs Investigation Office as well as “support staff from other authorities.” The Hamburg public prosecutor’s office directed authorities to conduct surveillance on the suspect as he dropped packages off at the post office. They also directed police to seize the packages after the suspect had dropped off the packages. “Afterwards, lengthy and complex investigations by the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office and the customs investigation office examined trading platforms on the darknet and the payment methods for the cryptocurrencies often used in these drug transactions,” Customs officials said in the announcement.
Through the surveillance, package interception, and the examination of digital evidence, investigators concluded that the suspect mailed between 300 and 400 packages of drugs every week. Customs cited “thousands of positive reviews from buyers on various darknet platforms” as proof of the vendor’s reliability and expertise as a drug trafficker.
On the day of the suspect’s arrest, authorities stopped the suspect after he had loaded 180 packages of drugs into his vehicle. He had intended to drop the packages off at a post office. The packages in his vehicle contained marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamine. On the same day, Customs investigators raided rooms the suspect had rented “specifically for packaging the drugs.”
Frank Nielsen, spokesman for the Hamburg Customs Investigation Office:
This procedure again shows that the customs investigation is well positioned in the fight against cross-border drug-related crime and that drug trafficking on the so-called darknet, with its anonymization and encryption, has been uncovered.
An investigation into the suspected vendor’s customers is ongoing, according to the Customs Investigation Office.