A major darknet vendor group selling MDMA and Ecstasy, calling themselves the “Italian Mafia Brussels,” was recently taken down in an international police operation.
Also read: Darknet Purchases Increasing as Drug War Continues to Fail
Members of Italian Mafia Brussels Arrested
Six members of the group were nabbed in Belgium, Romania, and the U.S., although they have used other European countries as shipping hubs as well, such as France and Germany. The group had storefronts on a few darknet marketplaces, and used bitcoin to accept payments.
The six are currently in custody awaiting trial.
The group sent packages to customers in the U.S. disguised as being sent from legitimate companies. The authorities launched an investigation in February 2014 after receiving complaints from businesses that received returned packages from the U.S., which they did not send. These companies were chosen because they sold products similar to the group’s drugs. Payment was made in bitcoin.
FBI Efforts Unsuccessful
Such stories are piling up at an increased rate due to more cooperation from the international law enforcement community and larger budgets for law enforcement to conduct darkweb operations. Despite the growing number of convictions, and the seemingly endless campaign against darkweb marketplaces like the