A Finnish Defense Forces employee sold stolen explosives on the darknet, local authorities announced. An apparent connection was made after Finnish law enforcement posed as a potential customer. “Arrangements” were made between the employee and the undercover officer that ultimately led to the explosive seller’s arrest.
Since the investigation is still ongoing, officials released a limited set of details. As of June 13, the police have not yet revealed how the ordeal began. Regardless of how the investigation unfolded, the suspect’s house contained more than two kilograms of stolen explosives and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. All of which was stolen from the Defense Forces.
Note that news reports called the suspect a Defense Forces employee. His actual role is unknown.
There are several possibilities for how police knew to look into the suspect. The first: the Defense Forces noticed a significant quantity of missing explosives and ammunition. Then, via one of many methods, connected the stolen items to an employee. Finnish police would have taken over at this point and investigated the 39-year-old Defense Forces employee. The remainder of the investigation then played out like any other of this sort; officers watched the suspect and found that he listed the stolen goods on a darknet market or forum. Then connected with him, met him, and arrested him.
Alternatively, the Defense Forces could have reported the stolen goods and law enforcement found someone selling similar items on the darknet.
A second possibility is that Police were already monitoring the darknet for items of a higher priority and then identified the seller. Authorities pay special attention to darknet weapon sales and materials or information connected to terrorism or organized crime. Explosives likely rang alarm bells in both high-profile categories. Then investigators connected the online profile to a person in real-life. Following the trend of weapon vendors that meet their clients in real life, that connection was likely easily proven. The Defense Forces connection could have been discovered at any point in the investigation.
The Defense Forces, if they had discovered the missing explosives and ammunition, would likely have notified authorities immediately. Military-grade explosives are, again, a high priority for law enforcement. If the 39-year-old was one of many suspects, an in-depth darknet investigation would be required to connect the online entity to the real life suspect.
The suspect admitted everything to the police after his arrest, officials reported. He confessed the theft of the weaponry and the darknet sale(s). Police reported that they were unsure if he had any accomplices, even after hearing the testimony from the employee.
Finnish police reported that they worked with the Defense Forces during the initial investigation, although did not clarify the extent of the collaboration or if the Defense Forces are working on the possibility of unknown accomplices.
After the arrest, police found more than two kilograms of explosives, 700 rounds of ammunition, and unspecified explosives-making material. Furthermore, the employee confessed that he had already sold both ammunition and explosives to unidentified customers.
He currently faces charges for the theft of the equipment, violating explosive and weapons laws, and aggravated professional misconduct. Authorities announced that more charges may follow as the investigation proceeds.