Andhra Pradesh

Dark web, bitcoins used in drug trade

With more details coming out after the drug bust by the city police on Sunday, it is learnt that the drugs, mainly lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), were sourced through the dark web by the drug peddlers.

The main accused, Arvind Agarwal (21), son of a businessman, who had recently come to the city after completing BBA at Bengaluru, allegedly got hooked to a website in the dark web that dealt in different varieties of drugs such as LSD, cocaine, heroin, ganja and methamphetamine or crystal meth.

He reportedly used the website for procuring the LSD blots and paid them by converting the money into bitcoins.

“Both dark web and bitcoins are common sources of procurement for drug peddlers across the world and he was familiar with it,” said DCP (Crimes) V. Suresh Babu.

It is learnt that he had procured two sheets of LSD blots, each containing about 35 blots, on the website. He received the drugs from the vendors through courier service.

He sold the blots, each valued around ₹400, to his agents and four of his friends who doubled up as peddlers for ₹1,000 each. The agents further sold them to consumers at ₹2,000 per blot.

A senior police officer said that most of his customers were students and the drug trade was nipped in the bud.

His four friends, K. Sahil (20), a B.Tech. student, B. Chandra Sekhar (28), Michel Welcom (22) and M. Muralidhar (20) were arrested and another person identified as Y. Ashok, is yet to be nabbed.

Second case

This was the second case since 2019, where drug peddlers used the dark web and bitcoins to procure narcotics. In the first case in April, 2019, the city police raided a private resort near Rushikonda and arrested one Manukonda Satyanarayana and a few others for supplying drugs in a party.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:14:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/dark-web-bitcoins-used-in-drug-trade/article33164675.ece

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