The Italian Postal and Communication Police arrested an Italian man who allegedly hired a hitman on the darkweb to assault his ex-girlfriend.
A foreign law enforcement agency outed the suspect–a 40-year-old IT expert from Lombardy–to the Italian Postal Police. The unidentified foreign law enforcement agency uncovered the plot during an investigation into an undisclosed target.
In similar cases, a researcher with backdoor access to some darkweb murder-for-hire sites identifies the target of an assassination plot and relays the information to the police. It is not outside the realm of possibility that this method also led to the identification of the suspect in this case.
The European law enforcement agency notified Interpol of the plot. Interpol then informed the Italian State Police. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome then launched an investigation into the allegations. Europol “assisted” Italian law enforcement during the case.
Blockchain analysis made identification of the suspect simple. Investigators associated a payment on the (fraudulent) murder-for-hire site with the suspect. The suspect had sent the site operator (who claimed to be a hitman) €10 000 in Bitcoin. Investigators traced the transaction to a cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange had the suspect’s personal information on file. This information resulted in the suspect’s arrest.