Customs police of the Latvia State Revenue Service (SRS) have arrested three men for procuring controlled substances on the dark web marketplaces using virtual currencies, and via postal services, Customs and Tax Police Department have reported.
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The three Latvia citizens, aged 30, 25 and 24, are facing several counts of charges for buying illegal drugs and psychotropic substances online from the so-called dark web, an encrypted section of the internet using cryptocurrencies that conceal the identities of buyers and their transactions avoiding law enforcement agencies from catching up on them.
The investigations launched in April this year stated that the three men had been conducting the illegal business for quite a long time. According to the customs police, the drugs were procured online from Germany and the Netherlands before being shipped into the country through postal services. Over 23 letters were seized during the investigation, all send using the Latvian post service “Latvijas pasts”.
The first accused, aged 30-years old, shipped seven consignments of dark web narcotics from Netherlands and Germany between April and October this year. In each shipment, 3.4 ml of methylenedioxy methylamphetamine, over 100 MDMA pills, and LSD tablets were detected. The police later obtained a search warrant for his house, in which several drug handling items and narcotic substances were seized. 16 colored pills, over 20 grams of marijuana, 60 split tablets, 11 LSD stamped papers, hundreds of polymer packaging materials, one heater, two digital scales, and two shredders were confiscated. The suspect admitted that the drugs were for both use and further sale.
The second suspect, aged 25, is accused of a total of 11 hot postal items shipped from the Netherlands between May and September this year. He is facing charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and use of false personal information. During a search at his home, 102 MDMA tablets, 11 LSD imprinted papers, and a gun-like object was seized.
The third detainee, aged 24, is from the Netherlands. He is accused of ordering five illicit postal items containing crystalline MDMA from the dark web and paying them with virtual currencies. Further, a significant amount of psychotropic substances and narcotics were seized during a raid at his place of residence.
The three suspects are under tight police supervision and have been banned from using computers and from traveling without permission.
Director from SRS Speaks
Podins Kaspars, the director for Taxation and Customs Police of the State Revenue Service, reminded that illegal drug smuggling on whatever platform is a grave crime, punishable by imprisonment for not less than five years.
“The possibility of making a living from the drug industry and staying unpunished is easy but not reliable. The postal services are controlled by a list of regulations, policies, prohibitions, and restrictions regarding the movements of goods and items across the border. I, therefore, call upon everybody, especially the young, to be aware of the consequences of such behavior,” said Kaspars.
The case proceedings of the suspects are initiated in pursuant of the Criminal Law, Section 190.1 paragraphs one and two, which states that illegal movements of controlled substances–narcotics, new psychoactive or psychotropic substances, products containing them, or precursors–are prohibited or restricted across the Latvian state bounder.