Buying drugs online as easy as buying shoes

CCB picks up three men who bought 'Ecstasy' drug with bitcoins

One can buy clothes, shoes, electronic gadgets, household items, etc online. But narcotics? Well, on websites known as ‘Darknets’, one can even do that.

Darknet websites sell various kinds of narcotic substances by giving them names of chemicals. Several such websites are found to have been active and doing brisk business, according to the police.

The presence of these online portals came to light when the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru police arrested three young men named Manikandan J, 24, Debyendu Roy, 26, and Jag Saiprakash, 23, last Tuesday. Various kinds of contraband worth a few lakh rupees were confiscated from them. During the interrogation, the men revealed how they had bought ‘Ecstasy’ and other drugs on www.agoramarketplace.com. They would make payment by bitcoins.

Many drug peddlers buy narcotic substances at a particular price and resell them at a much higher rate. This way, they can earn more and get a larger quantity of drugs.

M Chandrashekar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), said: “We are investigating the economy and technology involved in this kind of purchasing and how these websites work. We will also track Darknet websites which deal in such substances. A detailed study on such websites will be conducted.”

But solving the problem is tricky, in the words of a senior police officer, as the website may be run by someone sitting in a different corner of the world. “We will have to track the server from which the website is being administered. Several middlemen may be involved in this racket. We are trying to trace the people who deliver the narcotic substances. Once we track them down, we will get to know where they get the material from. Then, we can go step by step to expose the racket.”

The case is currently registered at the Kumaraswamy Layout police station. But the CCB will investigate it. Police want to know which drugs are being supplied this way. “The present generation is tech savvy and can easily learn about such websites,” said a senior officer in the CCB. He admitted that the police were not aware of the gravity of the case earlier. The CCB may hire outside experts to study Darknets websites.

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