Mt. Gox Former CEO Re-Arrested

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.

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Mt. Gox CEO Mark KarpelesJapanese police have re-arrested the former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles as their investigation into the disappearance of millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin from the now defunct Bitcoin exchange continues. According to local reports, the police believe that they now have adequate evidence to accuse Mark Karpeles of embezzlement. He is accused of misappropriating $2.6 million worth of deposits from the trading accounts of Mt. Gox clients.

Mark Karpeles, 30, had previously been arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on charges of fraudulently manipulating the cryptocurrency system of Mt. Gox and inflating the bitcoin balance in fake accounts; under Japanese law a suspect can be held legally for up to 23 days without any formal charges being laid, hence the need for Mark Karpeles to be re-arrested on a new charge.

The re-arrest will prolong a process that is known informally to the prosecutors and police as shomusen – a “war of attrition” which is waged by investigators who are seeking to obtain a confession from a detainee. Mr Karpelès lawyer has said that his client denied the initial charges and has not confessed under questioning.

Along with a substantial portion of the money alleged to have been used to buy software rights on behalf of Mt. Gox, one of the misappropriation accusations appertains to Mr. Karpeles buying a $48,000 bed that the police say was intended for his own use.

Mark Karpeles lawyer has denied the allegations and has said that the deposits were used for investments in new ventures and the bed was bought as an interior decoration for his house, both of which were meant as marketing tools to advertise the use of bitcoins. The lawyer added that in spite of the long period of detention, the fact that the investigators have only been able to come up with only these few reasons to make their case for misappropriation is evidence that Mr. Karpeles wasn’t involved for his own personal reasons in the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin.

The now defunct, Mt. Gox had initially said that it had lost 750,000 bitcoins belonging to clients and another 100,000 bitcoins of its own. In March 2014, Mr. Karpelès said the company found 200,000 of the bitcoins, leaving the total loss at 650,000 ($400 – 420 million at that time). Mark Karpelès had claimed that the proven corrupted Federal agents – Carl Mark Force IV and Shaun Bridges – were responsible for killing Mt. Gox and they had records of all the transactions that were made between them and the operator of Silk Road, Dread Pirate Roberts. Nevertheless, suspicions of the fraudulent Mt. Gox accounts prompted the investigators to believe that some of the missing bitcoins could be fake.

BitcoinBefore its shutdown, Mt. Gox was the biggest virtual currency exchange in the industry, handling 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. Nearly one year before its shutdown, the company started suspending withdrawals in US currency. After many more suspensions and delays, Mr. Karpeles announced that the company was bankrupt, and the exchange would close in February 2014, leaving most users empty handed. Investigations from the Tokyo police began immediately after the announcement and Mr. Karpeles has remained in Japan since the shutdown, fearing US extradition and criminal charges. During the Silk Road trial the Department of Homeland Security revealed that that had suspected Mark Karpeles of operating the Silk Road online black market just a few months before settling instead on Ross Ulbricht (a.k.a. the “Dread Pirate Roberts”), who was sentenced to life in prison for being the Silk Road Mastermind.

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21 Arrested In Online Drug Bust

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

NSW policeTwenty-one people have been arrested after New South Wales (NSW) Police seized thousands of dollars worth of illicit drugs traded online in Sydney.

Strike Force Oadby together with the Redfern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) led a two-month operation started in June 2015 to bust the suppliers of the illicit drugs marketed online through social networking websites, classified ads sites and the dark web.

During the operation, authorities confiscated a number of illicit substances such as methylamphetamine (or ice), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), cannabis, ecstasy and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), all of which were worth an estimated street value of AUD$32,000.

Aside from the drugs impounded, investigators also found some stolen property and thousands of dollars in cash, and then confiscated for forensic examination purposes.

Strike Force Oadby detectives who were teamed up with officers based in Central Metropolitan Region cuffed 21 people over the course of the operation, who were all charged with 45 drug-related offenses afterwards.

Meanwhile, NSW Police said it’s still unsettled whether those arrests were related to each other. That being said, it can’t be assumed that the Strike Force detectives just stopped the whole drug operation.

As per Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell, technology has modified the means of people to trade in illicit drugs, thus leaving a significant impact on the policing strategies purposely developed to fight this particular trend.

Det Ch Insp Bell said that this criminal activity posed a unique challenge for law enforcement to invade lairs of operators and track down drug transactions made online.

The detective chief inspector also said that NSW Police deemed Strike Force Oadby as an important companion towards battling and blocking this new trend.

To warn people behind the supply of illicit drugs, Det Ch Insp Bell who is also the commander of Redfern RES added that the operation would resume so as to stop this illegal enterprise making drug transactions through distinct methods.

Silk Road Shutdown

In October 2013, US FBI authorities closed down Silk Road, the biggest drug black market across the globe, but found out that it reopened with the name Silk Road 2.0 just a few weeks later. With the assistance of Europol, US federal authorities shut down the said successor of Silk Road on November 2014.

In February this year, Ross Ulbricht was found guilty as the operator of Silk Road who masterminded a scheme enabling approximately US$200 million of anonymous online illicit drug sales through bitcoins.

 

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Illicit Drugs On The Darknet

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Years ago, more specifically two years ago, the underground industry of illicit drug trade suffered a major setback following the closure of the infamous online drug bazaar- Silkroad. And whileDark-Net-Drugs Silkroad might have gone under, its shutdown has not in any way deterred the progressive use of darknetmarkets for purchasing illegal drugs from taking shape. If anything, most cryptographers learned a crucial lesson from the Silkroad take down, and have come up with almost water-tight secure underground sites. This has made it even harder for authorities and law enforcers to suppress the vice successfully.

These new sites, which have spawned from Silkroad, are also characterized by a hive of illegal activities ranging from counterfeiting, revenge pornography to gambling. And this has made them a good breeding ground for illicit drugs trading.

According to the data findings from Grams, one of the numerous dark web search engines, here is a rough breakdown of the cost of illicit drugs on the darknet today.

a) An ounce of marijuana goes for around $215.31.

b) The price of one gram of cocaine averages around $97.39.

c) A single gram of MDMA fetches a median price of $37.07.

d) A 30-pack of Adderall (a euphoric drug) has a price tag of $183.46. Which, of course, means that a single pack costs $6.12.

e) A 10-pack of Oxycontin is priced at $248.15 in most illegal drugs bazaars.

Grams DarkNet

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that some of these prices bear some correlation to the ones found on Silkroad two or three years ago. Before it was rooted out, Silkroad was by far the most prominent online marketplace for illegal substances.

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Man Linked to Silk Road Meth Conspiracy Sentenced To 30 Months

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

A native Portland man has been sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for supplying methamphetamine that was sold on the now-shuttered darknet site, the Silk Road. Later after he was arrested in 2013, Richard Webster (47) pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute hard drugs online.

drugs online

Authorities say he sold more than 30 lbs. of meth to a client named Jason Hagen, who later posted them on the Silk Road for other people to buy. Webster was sentenced partly because attorneys on both sides of the case emphasized on certain changes made since his first arrest.

When initially held, Richard was so high on methamphetamine that he could hardly speak clearly. However, after cleaning up and pleading for custody to his 18-month old son, assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Martin recommended that he gets a lenient punishment given his willingness to turn over a new leaf.

Talking to U.S. District Judge Robert Jones, Webster said that being busted is the best thing that has ever happened to him. He had led his entire life since teenage-hood high on drugs, and the last few 20 months prior to sentencing have been eye opening. The magistrate acknowledged his progress towards becoming a better man, but still warned that most drug addicts have a tendency of going back to their old undesirable ways.

methamphetamine crystalJones told him that he needs to become an employable, dependable and decent person in order to succeed in life after serving the prison sentence. As for Hagen, he’s set to be sentenced on October after pleading guilty to the same accusations, during investigations it was revealed that he’s a highly educated man with PhD in philosophy and went by the Silk Road pseudonym of “hammertime”.

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The Mysterious Dark Web

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

For most people, the dark web is a place of intrigue and mystery. It is where the villains and shady dealers of the Internet congregate, a place wherein the trade of the illicit and the illegal is the main order of the day… every day. Stolen credit cards, fake documents, dangerous drugs, weapons, murderers-for-hire, and pornography of unspeakable magnitude – all of these can be found with just one click away.

The Mysterious Dark Web

It’s easy to see why the “dark web” has gotten such an infamous reputation as it has right now. For one thing, most of the things mentioned above are somewhat true. The Silk Road was a prominent marketplace on this network that leaned on such kind of illegal trade. Silk Road was eventually shuttered down by the FBI after its founder, Ross Ulbricht (Dread Pirate Roberts), was caught.

Accessing Dark Web Content and Marketplaces like the Silk Road

deepweb

In a nutshell, the dark web is a network of websites and online content that require special browsing software to access. As such, the websites on the network are inaccessible to “normal” search engines like Google and Bing. Dark web content can’t also be viewed through normal browsers. It’s basically a no-holds barred, free-for-all version of the internet that most people use. There are no regulations to be followed, no censorship, and no surveillance to be worried about (especially if one is particularly careful about how he/ she browse dark web content).

One kind of service that allows people access to dark web content is the Tor (The Onion Router) Network. What this network does is scramble a user’s IP address over a series of “relays” all over the world, thus making everything untraceable. Should one want to browse the Silk Road and other illicit marketplaces online, user’s Internet traffic and IP address will be passed through these relays for so many times, that it is nearly impossible to trace the traffic back to the user.

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Things You May Not Know About The Deep Web

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Not a part of the surface web, Deep Web is the vast section of the Internet that is not accessible using regular search engines, it become more well-known in 2013 when Silk Road was seized. Of some the strange things about it, here are 5 things you may not know about the Deep Web.

1. The Deep Web is Enormous

It is so large that it’s almost impossible to determine the exact number of the included web pages, or to provide a detailed imagery of things. In fact, the known Internet access makes up only about 10-15% of the total.

2. It is Extremely Dynamic

Based on the rise and fall of markets and services, the URLs that are running today may not be available tomorrow or may be found elsewhere. The Deep Web is a lot more dynamic than the regular web, having frequently changing names and address schemes.

3. Accessed By Special Means

Access to the Deep Web can only be made through some special means, such as the Tor browser. Initially created for providing users with normal anonymous Internet usage, Tor is now used by activists and journalists to cross surveillance systems and censorships of their nations.

4. It’s A Secret Haven

It often plays the role of a safe place for sensitive information. Journalists use it as a highly accurate source of news that’s rare to find on the regular web. Numerous personal blogs, discussion forums and some radio stations also operate on the deep web.

5. It’s a match made in the world of malwares

It offers a command-and-control infrastructure for malware due to the hidden nature of websites and services like 12P and TOR. CryptoLocker is one of the malwares that encrypts the personal documents of an individual and redirects them to a website which requires them to pay in order to get access to those files.

Silk Road

silk-road-interface

Launched in 2011, Silk Road became the largest and most popular online black market for illegal sale-purchase of drugs. The site was shut down by the FBI in 2013 and arrested its creator, Ross Ubricht. On 2015, the mastermind behind Silk Road was sentenced to life in prison for creating and operating the Silk Road site.

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Dark Web Site Like Silk Road, Shut Down By Authorities

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Ross Ulbricht’s Silkroad is gone and his Silkroad trial has been a wrap. However, that has not stopped the emergence of other dark web marketplaces whose intent is to fill the void left by Silkroad. Italian police report that they have closed the curtains on another major dark web site, said to be trading anything from child pornography to guns and drugs.

Filling in the void left by Silkroad

Police say that in an operation they dubbed “Babylon”;a systematic infiltration led to the closure of one of the more notorious havens of drugs and pornography around, collecting over 11,000 bitcoins wallets worth about1 million euros. The site had been in use for a while and just like Silkroad, it made use of the bitcoin cryptocurrency to ease transactions and throw a veil over the identities of those involved. Speculation is rife over what the market could realistically have been worth. However, the fact that it had over 14000 members and facilitated over 170,000 transactions points that a lot was going on in there. Police estimation puts the number of drug dealers using the site up until the time of closure at around 200, a hefty number only heard back in the day when Silkroad was in its prime.

An “extremely difficult” call

Michele Prestipino, a public prosecutor who led the investigation, has pointed out that what started out as an attack on child pornography brought down an entire site. The dark web’s frustrating antics seem to continue haunting the police, with the official claiming that getting into the depths Of the Babylon site was “extremely difficult”.

The Italian site “Babylon” is said to have been the brainchild of an Italian citizen from Naples. Like Silkroad, this site was only available via the Tor anonymous browser.

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A Silk Road-Like Marketplace Allegedly Run By Students

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

The dark web has been in the news for more than one reason in the recent past and is a matter of growing concern for the police and enforcement authorities around the world. Modeled after the Silk Road, an online black market that was busted by the FBI, a new darknet market by name NZ Underworld (originally launched as Vic Underworld) has now been created by three Wellington computer science students. NZ Underworld, allegedly run by these students, offers party drugs and painkillers among a host of other products. The Victoria University students have even challenged the police to catch them if they can manage it.

The anonymous marketplace, designed to function like the Silk Road, accepts members only through invitation. Currently, the site has about 150 members, according to reports. Counterfeit prescriptions for hypnotic drugs and sedatives are available in addition to huge stashes of drugs for schizophrenia.

The founders of NZ Underworld purportedly take a cut of about 1.5 percent of the transaction amount. The transactions are in Bitcoin, a crypto currency. The value of one Bitcoin is about $450.

Just like the Silk Road, NZ Underworld also uses the deep part of the internet that most normal users are not familiar with. The Tor (Onion Router) browser is used to access the darknet sites. This helps operators to function anonymously. The darknet, as it is known, is the place where illicit activity, nefarious businesses, forged documents, arms sales, and illegal drug peddling take place in complete secrecy. It is unmonitored and lawless and much larger than the internet that most users are familiar with.

Though modeled under the likes of the Silk Road which was shut down in 2013 by the feds, the founders of NZ Underworld claim that their intention of setting up such a site was not to sell only illegal items and drugs like the Silk Road but adapt to current demands of the society at large. The founders’ claim is that they have set up the site to bridge the demand-supply gap. Their act of setting up the site, they believe, would incite the public as well as authorities to examine the implications of the classification of drugs as illegal or otherwise.

However, under security concerns raised by the Victoria University about the content traded in the website in their complaint, the police department is investigating into the allegations along with help from the National Cyber Crime Centre. The Victoria University has also said that they do not know who the operators of the site are. Whatever be the intentions of setting up the site, according to the police, any individual that uses the internet for the act of selling or distributing controlled substances is committing an offense. The police are tightlipped owing to the nature of the investigation but are determined to find out the promoters of the Silk Road-like website and hold them responsible for the act.

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Silk Road 2.0 Vendor Is Jailed For Two Years

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

A 29-yr.-old Welsh man by the name of Cei William Owens pleaded guilty to charges of supplying of class A and B drugs; he now faces a 2-yr. jail term. William was arrested alongside six other British nationals by the (NCA) National Crime Agency, being part of a broader clampdown on dark web site Silkroad 2.0. Reports indicate that he used to run his Silkroad business as a small mail order-style service, shipping narcotics to clients at certain pre-arranged drop off points.

He’s been charged with distribution of both class A & B Silkroad drugs including magic mushrooms and bhang, plus three other counts of possession. Owens, who’s a former resident of Aberdovey but recently staying at Aberystwyth, will be subjected to an additional “Proceeds of Crime” investigation. This will give the courts supreme power to seize any cash or assets derived from his illegal Silkroad activities.

During his Silkroad sentencing at the Swansea Crown Court, it was revealed that William went under the virtual pseudonym “Johnny Alpha” and traded with his account as part of the organized and sophisticated delivery system. Also for the campaigns, he advertised the narcotics as “quality hash” while promising clients free next day delivery and offering to ship illicit Silkroad substances via 1st class registered mail. Following a sanctioned raid at his residence, detectives recovered narcotics, digital scales and data encryption software installed within his computer.

In spite of a defence plea to give a suspended sentence, Recorder Ian Murphy QC said that he had no other option but enforcing an immediate prison term on the Silkroad dealer. The nature of his operations was quite complicated, with photographic exhibits showing a room had actually been converted to a distribution center; he also had lots of customer feedback from clients on his Silkroad profile.

On the home raid conducted by federal agents, various prohibited Silkroad paraphernalia was recovered including cannabis, MDMA, heat-sealing machines and legal highs with an estimated street value of £1,700. Moreover, stamps from Canada and Netherlands were discovered in the house showing that maybe Cei William was shipping narcotics to these countries as well.

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DPR Is The New Face Of Organized Crime

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

Ross William UlbrichtRoss William Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), was arrested in October 2013 for establishing the online black market Silk Road, following extensive joint federal investigations. The 31-year old Silk Road founder was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was convicted on several felony charges. Judge Katherine Forrest served the harshest possible sentence in order to deter others from following his footsteps. During sentencing, she said that what he did with the website was dreadfully destructive to the social fabric.

Dread Pirate Roberts represents the changing face of organized crime as sophisticated criminal activity migrates to the virtual world. To perpetrate an online global enterprise for illicit activities, all that a young man requires is a laptop and Internet connection.

The Silk Road

Silk_Road_Security_Upgrade

Silk Road website was created by Ulbricht in 2011 on Tor which enables buyers and sellers to anonymously trade illicit goods using Bitcoin, a virtual currency. Tor, originally created for the US Navy, protects online government communications, shielding the users from prying eyes. Silk Road was not the only Tor hidden market then, but it dominated the cryptomarket landscape for 2 years before the authorities shut it down. As many as 24,000 items were available on the site and they were mostly drugs. Out of the $1.2 million in sales that the site generated on a monthly basis, approximately $90,000 was shared by Ulbricht and associates.

Ulbricht is not the stereotype organized crime mob boss that the world has seen so far. His friends and family describe him as a humble, modest and caring person. However, the seven charges leveled against him included conspiracy to laundering money and traffic narcotics, operating a criminal enterprise as its kingpin and conspiring with others for trafficking in fraudulent Id documents.

The non-profit organization responsible for maintaining Tor, the Tor Project, says that the software provides a great deal of benefits to its 2.5 million users, including child protection, journalists’ safety and safe whistleblowing. However, criminals also take full advantage of the anonymity provided by Tor for buying and selling of illegal items.

Several darknet marketplaces have sprung up after Silk Road was shut down by the law enforcement authorities. As of now, at least 45 darknet marketplaces are in operation. Users who wants to buy illicit ware has to just create an account, select the required item, specify the quantity and pay using bitcoin. The item is then shipped through snail-mail. Stealth shipping methods, to prevent detection by law enforcement authorities, are also employed at an additional cost.

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