Police in Eastern Uusimaa, southern Finland, are investigating a wide-ranging criminal scheme involving suspected illicit drug sales via the encrypted Tor network, part of the so-called Dark Web.
Eight people are suspected of committing or assisting in aggravated drug offences. Four of them have been detained, and three remain behind bars. The principle suspects are men aged 18 and 21.
"The 18-year-old is suspected of using the nickname ‘TeknoJeesus’ on the Tor network. Based on monitoring by authorities, this user name has been one of the most active drug vendors on the Tor network’s drug sale sites or so-called markets,” Detective Inspector Rauno Jämsä said in a statement on Friday.
Police say they raided the 18-year-old’s flat last August, seizing large quantities of amphetamines, ecstasy, MDMA and cocaine. They also found and confiscated dozens of envelopes containing drugs and labelled with address stickers.
"The recipients’ addresses were all around Finland, as far away as Lapland. These individuals have been interviewed during the preliminary investigation,” Jämsä says.
Sales continued after first arrest
Police also say they seized a handgun and about 22,000 euros cash from the apartment. The 18-year-old was placed under arrest. After this a 21-year-old man is suspected of carrying on the drug sales with other accomplices.
The rest were taken into custody in early November.
Altogether authorities have confiscated more than four kilos of amphetamines along with about 3,000 ecstasy tablets, 1.3 kilos of MDMA, 60 grams of cocaine, 80 grams of methamphetamine and smaller amounts of cannabis, ketamine and LSD during the preliminary investigation.
Bitcoin and forest stashes
Police say they also found amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine buried in three outdoor caches.
They say that the suspects had sold at least 160,000 euros worth of controlled substances, mostly paid for with Bitcoin virtual currency or cash.
Police say that more than 110,000 euros worth of currency passed through the men’s Bitcoin wallets in 2018. Most of this came from drugs sales on the Tor network, and some of it was reinvested there through the acquisition of new batches of drugs.
The preliminary investigation wrapped up this week and is being passed on to a prosecutor for consideration of charges.