Finnish customs has in recent days revealed the arrest of Douppikauppa, the largest operator on Dark Net marketplace Valhalla, who just six months ago said he would never be caught.
Also read: Monero Rising: Why Dark Markets Matter
Douppikauppa: Valhalla ‘Safe From Cyber Surveillance’
Douppikauppa, who began operating in 2013, was discovered “in the course of routine surveillance,” local news publication Yle announced on August 26.
The news follows the arrest of another party in Douppikauppa’s circle in April, yet it remains unknown whether the first arrest is linked to the second.
“We follow everything that happens, also online, and that way we uncovered this case,” Finnish Customs Board official Hannu Sinkkonen told Yle.
The statements cast an ironic light on Douppikauppa’s now-infamous interview with Arman Alizad in February this year. During the exchange, translated into English for DeepDdotWeb, the dealer claimed that his operation was immune to cyber surveillance and that he “didn’t think he would get caught.”
“The cyber surveillance that is being planned in Finland, will only be effective for unencrypted browsing and emails, not Tor connections,” he told Alizad. “So sites like Valhalla and their users are safe from cyber surveillance.”
On the subject of his own security, Douppikauppa further commented:
“I don’t think that I will get caught.”
Police Admire ‘Exceptional IT Skills’
He added, however, that he had accepted the perils of the trade despite taking various precautions, and that unforeseen consequences would be dealt with as part of the deal.
“I am however prepared to a visit by the police and even going to jail if it comes to that,” he said. “Policies must of course constantly be analyzed and improved so that the gap to the police doesn’t disappear and so that the clients stay safe too. Being afraid has no place in this business.”
The operation hinged on the seamless mastery of Dark Web business, with bitcoin serving as the transaction medium. Germany and the Netherlands were the major import partners, and halting the operation did not pass without the authorities’ admiration.
“They started ‘cold,’” Sinkkonen commented. “They have exceptional IT skills.”
While Douppikauppa is a world away from the legal highs and endorsed cannbis merchants springing up in various US states, many offering their wares for bitcoin, his comments reveal the continuing moral tension and the concept of “victimless crime” in the age of the Dark web.
“Laws made from moral viewpoints where the crime has no victim should be removed,” he said. “Everyone should have the freedom and responsibility to decide about their own matters, as long as it does not hurt others.”
The case will be heard at the District Court in Southwest Finland later this autumn.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Dram Market Guide.