Dark net drug trafficking network busted in Delhi; 22 held

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In a major operation, the Narcotics Control Bureau, Delhi, has busted a pan-India dark net drug trafficking network that was having international linkages and arrested 22 members of three syndicates, an official said here on Saturday.

Furnishing details, Deputy Director General (North Region) Gyaneshwar Singh said this NCB Operation started with a case from Kolkata Zonal unit and was further developed by Delhi Zonal unit.

“It lasted for four months and is an excellent example of inter zonal coordination within NCB and inter agency coordination with other sister Drug Law Enforcement agencies spread over various states,” the DDG said.

The three dark syndicates were THE ORIENT EXPRESS, a Telegram based group with approximately 300 members (consumers/street level peddlers) and 6 verified vendors (Suppliers), DRED, a dark web page for review rating and internal performance appraisal of India based drug dealers. Foreign vendors used this rating/review for authentication and supply.

The third one was DNM (Dark Net Market) INDIA which was an India based web platform to sell or buy drugs, locate suppliers or buyers and assess quality of the product.

The senior official informed that simultaneous raids were carried out at several places in Surat, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Ranchi, Jalandhar and Guwahati.

“Scores of financial transactions, volumes of technical records were analysed. Almost all the accused were in their youth (20-35 years). They ranged from professionals such as engineers, doctors, financial consultants, businessmen to artists such as musicians, to school dropouts,” he said.

Sharing more startling revelations of the syndicate, Singh said the accused exploited couriers and India Post for absence of robust system and scrutiny system loopholes to ensure the genuine KYC process of correct address or IDs.

The drugs were advertised as a restaurant’s menu in their circles for consumers with attractive offers.

“Almost all were tech savvy, felt thrill in dodging police, have had a disturbed childhood or family problems and were highly influenced by the western culture. Some even had suicidal tendencies,” the NCB official said.

Notably, till date, none of the 22 arrested individuals have been granted bail by the court. Their bail has been rejected on the grounds of severity of the crime done to influence the youth of the nation to drugs.

However, one student has been granted interim bail to appear in his exams.

Meanwhile, the official also informed that they have also arrested one NCB official for connivance with one of the main accused Jasbir Singh for destruction of evidence.

“He has not been granted bail so far and is in judicial custody,” Singh added.

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