Darknet activity is a global trend, and some countries are slowly starting to emerge. Uganda is not a country people would associate with internet criminality per se, but the reality is very different. In fact, one of the deep web’s largest money laundering operations was run by a Uganda-based counterfeiting group. In the end, the team produced over US$1,4m worth of counterfeit Federal Reserve notes.
The investigation related to this darknet group started back in 2013, although the first arrest was made a year later. Deep web user Willy Clock was arrested facing several charges, including conspiracy to launder money. At that time, other people were indicted as well, including then 19-year-old Zachary Ruiz.
The Tale of A Major Ugandan Counterfeiting Group
Thanks to the help of Ruiz, law enforcement agents uncovered a large Ugandan counterfeiting ring. The group, together with their US contacts, printed counterfeit Federal Reserve notes. A total of US$1.4m in counterfeit money came into circulation across both countries, leading to a successful business.
Despite Ruiz’s lawyer pleading for lenient sentencing, his client now faces a four-year prison sentence. Additionally, he will also serve a three-year probation sentence. Plus, the judge ordered him to pay US$230,980