A total of eight suspects of drug trafficking allegedly connected to the illegal marketplace Silk Road have been arrested in Britain, Sweden and the United States. Just in the United Kingdom, the country’s new National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested four people and left a warning: more drug dealers are going down soon.
99Bitcoins reported the arrest of the two first suspects this Tuesday (8), a North-American man called Steven Lloyd Sadler and known as ‘NOD’ in the virtual world and his female accomplice. According to the authorities, he was among the “top one percent of sellers” on Silk Road, before the shutdown of the marketplace and the capture of Silk Road’s alleged boss, Ross Ulbricht.
According to Britain’s Crime Agency, these four arrests were made only hours after Ulbricht was detained. The authorities are now revealing that the suspects were “significant users” of Silk Road and that millions of pounds worth of Bitcoins were seized, states the Associated Press, through the site In.com. Three men are in their twenties and are from Manchester, while the fourth man is in his fifties and is from Devon.
In a statement, the agency’s director warned other online drug dealers, who should expect a knock on their door in a near future. Keith Bristow said “these latest arrests are just the start; there are many more to come”.
“These arrests send a clear message to criminals; the hidden internet isn’t hidden and your anonymous activity isn’t anonymous. We know where you are, what you are doing and we will catch you. It is impossible for criminals to completely erase their digital footprint. No matter how technology-savvy the offender, they will always make mistakes”, the National Crime Agency’s director added.
After Silk Road’s seizure, the FBI managed to copy the contents of the site’s server, providing the international authorities with detailed information about all the important sellers and buyers. “Any large sellers on Silk Road should be very nervous”, said Nicholas Weaver, from the International Computer Science Institute, in Berkeley.
That is why the Exeter-based officers are now working closely with the American law enforcement in order to identify British users of the Silk Road and to learn more about how criminals use the “deep web”. According to Andy Archibald, head of the NCA’s national cybercrime unit, quoted by BBC News, “these criminal areas of the internet aren’t just selling drugs; it’s where fraud takes place, where the trafficking of people and goods is discussed, where child abuse images are exchanged and firearms are traded”.
Besides these six arrests, two men from Helsingborg, in Sweden, were also captured on suspicion of distributing cannabis through Silk Road. There’s no official information about the time of the arrests.
Although the authorities are working hard to stop all the ramifications of Silk Road around the world, they might be up against a very strong enemy. The site TechCrunch recently reported that the version 2.0 of the illegal marketplace could be “ready to launch”.