Inside money, markets, and big tech

Dublin crime ring recruited 14-year-olds to hide drugs bought with Bitcoin

This is like that Netflix series about selling drugs (fast)

Bitcoin dark web

A drug-smuggling kingpin has been using west Dublin teenagers as young as 14 to store large amounts of narcotics bought with cryptocurrency via the dark web, reports Irish local media The Journal citing sources familiar with the matter.

Authorities suspect they run a criminal enterprise that distributes illegal drugs like cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine within the west Dublin area.

A 17-year-old boy arrested earlier this week over $682,000 (€600,000) worth of ecstasy seized at Lucan postal centre is believed to have actually been paid to hold them for the dodgy dealers. He was later released without charge.

According to reports, state police say there are “dozens of young people” in areas such as Lucan, Clondalkin, and Ballyfermot currently holding drugs for the syndicate – a supposed strategy to reduce legal risk.

International police recently disrupted two of the dark web‘s most prolific narcotics markets in a string of raids around the globe, including the US and Germany. They seized $600,000 in cash, as well as large sums of Bitcoin BTC and Monero.

Not to mention, a Californian man who sold drugs on the dark web in exchange for Bitcoin was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month.

In the case of our drug smuggler from Dublin, narcotics squads are reportedly investigating, joined by the Ireland‘s National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Garda National Drugs, and the Organised Crime Bureau.

Still, cryptocurrency-fuelled drug syndicates regularly get broken up, but it’s unclear just how much it affects dark web trade.

Published June 27, 2019 — 11:33 UTC