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Drug market booming with Indian vendors using darknet websites

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HYDERABAD: Even as sleuths of prohibition and excise department bust suppliers and peddlers of narcotic substances in city, Indian drug vendors who have marked their presence on some well known darknet markets continue their business unabated. “Fed up of customs seizing your order or local vendors charging you through the roof! We are here to ensure that it doesn’t happen anymore,” read a message from ‘HariPotter’. Similarly, another drug vendor ‘Madlyfooted’ announced “Let’s make Indian DNM scene bright again”, and ‘Flipkart’, another vendor, announced “Namaste and welcome to our humble abode. We are The Majestic Garden rising star rated vendor.”

Although it has been known for a long time that drugs are sold on darknet websites, Indian drug vendors are also taking to this platform to sell drugs without much worry of law enforcement authorities, thanks to anonymity provided by the software ‘The Onion Router’ (TOR), reveals an investigation by Express.

The Majestic Garden to which ‘Flipkart’ refers to is a DNM. There are others like Dream Market, Valhalla, Alpha Bay and Hansa. The announcement by Madlyfooted was underneath a listing for ‘clean and uncut’ Bolivian cocaine along with review of quality of the cocaine with a picture of it. The vendors also provide escrow services where one can track the consignment. DNMs are like any other e-commerce portals where payment has to be made in Bitcoins.

DNMs have various filters include rating of a vendor and also from which country the drugs will be shipped and to where. DNMs sell a wide range of drugs like psychedelics, opioids, dissociatives, ecstacy, steroids, cannabis, benzos, barbiturates and prescription drugs.Indian drug vendors sell a wide range of prescription drugs like Benzodiazepines (antidepressants) like Xanax, Barbiturates (central nervous system depressants), pain killers like Tramadol and erectile dysfunction medicines like Tadalafil which are misused by drug addicts. While school students might not be able to buy these drugs online, drug peddlers and addicts having basic knowledge of computer, can easily buy drugs from darknet.

Indian drug peddlers are using even India Post services for delivering the drugs, as claimed by an Indian drug vendor on Dream Market. Some vendors also send through their personal courier networks.
When contacted, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime), Hyderabad police, KCS Raghuveer said, “Till now there has been no case reported to us involving drugs bought or sold on darknet. If there is a case, it is not impossible to catch hold of the drug peddlers since drugs have to be delivered physically. Moreover, we also have very good infrastructure in place which can help tracing these drug peddlers.”

Cops upset over ‘political interference’?
The crackdown on drug racket in city seems to have created a divide between the police officials and politicians. A day after a cabinet minister reportedly expressed unhappiness over the excise and prohibition department exposing educational institutes from where students got addicted to drugs, senior police officers are understood to have been upset over ‘political interference’ in the case. Police officials are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong in cracking the whip on drug peddling.

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