Two dark web drug markets which sent narcotics through the post to homes across the UK have been shut down.
An international law enforcement operation led by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), a team which includes Kent Police officers, brought down the website known as “Weedzy”. Weedzy operates under the clearnet site Weedzy.com and weedzyukbgzocpvz.onion on Tor.
They are thought to have been used to sell vast amounts of class B drugs, including various types of cannabis, to clients all over the country.
Users who accessed the site on the dark web – a part of the internet favored by those trading in illicit items where browsers enjoy anonymity – could buy drugs using a credit card or cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. The packages were then distributed through the post.
The enterprise began to unravel last April when a package on its way to a Cambridgeshire address was intercepted. An investigation was then launched by ERSOU’s Darkweb Intelligence, Collection and Exploitation (DICE) team.
The servers linked to the sites were seized last Thursday and they were taken offline. Investigators will now work their way through the data held on the servers.
Servers are often held at third-party locations not linked to the activities they are being used to facilitate.
No arrests have been made, with investigators continuing to progress a number of lines of inquiry both in the UK and abroad.
Detective Inspector Ian Kirby, from ERSOU’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The sites involved operated in a very similar way to a typical shopping website – even to the extent that they offered discounts for bulk orders. Their removal is a huge step in stopping the illegal operations of this group, and follows months of work both in the UK and by colleagues abroad.
“Our teams work tirelessly to tackle online market places such as these, both on the clear net and dark web, to ensure illegal goods don’t make it into our communities and, through our dedicated dark web capability, specialist investigators will continue to investigate any sites selling illicit items and those individuals behind them.
“There’s no doubt that those involved in this group have made significant sums of money and we are progressing a number of lines of enquiry relating to those concerned.”
ERSOU tackles serious organized crime and terrorism across the south and east of England.