UK Doctor Imprisoned for Distributing Counterfeit Xanax
From July 2016 to August 2017, Shoaib Ahmad, 41, made over £250,000 from the distribution of ecstasy, cannabis, and counterfeit Xanax through the "Imperial Storm Trooper" and "IST" vendor profiles on dark web marketplaces.
The West Midlands Police launched investigations into Ahmad's drug trafficking operation in early 2017 following the interception of a drug package. The package was addressed to a rented mailbox paid for through Ahmad’s bank account. The investigators found several mailboxes under different names paid for using the same bank account.
The seized drugs
In August 2017, French authorities informed the West Midlands Police that Ahmed had been arrested in France after French border officers found him in possession of 46 kilograms of ecstasy pills.
The police searched his home after receiving the information. The search resulted in the seizure of a variety of undisclosed drugs and electronic devices. The investigators reportedlly found evidence that linked Ahmad to the Imperial Storm Trooper vendor profile.
The investigators linked Ahmed to convicted dark web drugs vendor, Marc Ward. Ward and his accomplices distributed counterfeit Xanax through the "HulkedBenzoBoss" vendor profile. Ward had reportedly claimed that Imperial Storm Trooper would be one of the vendors to take over his drug trafficking business following his retirement.
Ahmed was charged, convicted, and sentenced to six years in prison in France. French authorities extradited him to the UK in July 2021. He was remanded pending trial.
On June 28, 2023, Ahmed pled guilty to 17 drug trafficking offenses. Birmingham Crown Court sentenced him to five years in prison on December 11. The sentencing judge told Ahmed he would have handed him a longer sentence had he not spent time in French prison.
Quote:Detective Constable Holly Percival, of the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit’s cyber-crime team
To the outside world, Shoaib Ahmad was a respected professional and very far from most people’s idea of a drug dealer. Behind the scenes, however, within the secretive community operating on the dark web, he was heavily involved in selling illegal drugs. As a registered medical practitioner, Ahmad knew well the dangers these drugs posed but he had little regard for others, only for his own profit.
He also thought he was beyond our reach, acting under the cloak of anonymity on the dark web, but we are as relentless in our pursuit of those who carry out crimes in cyberspace as we are tackling those who offend on the streets.
We have the technical expertise and resource to take on these criminals and we are determined to disrupt the drug trades wherever it takes place.
Ahmad’s capture is testament to our resolve.