The New Zealand authorities undertook a six month operation arresting 13 and seizing drugs suspected to have been ordered through the Darknet marketplace.
The passion to completely uproot the drug supply in the country brought a number of agencies together in a six-month operation.
The Waitemata Police Tactical Crime Team and the Custom sought to bust class A and class B drug importers after series of articles and reports revealed that the youth are the most buyers of these illicit drugs on the Darknet marketplaces.
If no restriction is to be made on the engagement of the other sector of the population structure of the country, then it can be concluded that the number of New Zealand nationals found to be buyers and sellers of drugs on the Darknet is very high.
It all started somewhere at the New Zealand’s border when the custom intersected a bunch of drugs identified as methamphetamine, LSD, fentanyl, and GBL. The authorities traced the parcels and eventually laid their handcuff on 13 people linked to the importation of those drugs.
Wei-Jiat Tan, the Customs Intelligence Manager said that they are interested in arresting and charging drug importers irrespective of the quantities of drugs imported.
“Buyers may think small quantities of drugs don’t matter and Customs won’t do anything, but every seizure helps us and our partners build the intelligence picture, so it’s not a matter of if they are caught, it’s when ” he said.
Among the drugs and items seized by authorities after the six months operation were GBL, cocaine and amphetamine, MDMA, cannabis, and amphetamine. A sum of $222,000 and a firearm was also seized.
In last year, the new drug monitoring research said in a report that the Kiwis have gone far beyond the Darknet, trading drugs through various social media. Illegal drug is a serious case in New Zealand, and how they normally penetrate through the borders is a story yet untold. It is very understandable when the police announce that they will possibly conduct a door to door search.
Tim Williams, the Detective Sergeant who was in charge of the operation warned importers that they should consider the risk involved when dealing in the drugs. “We want drug importers to know that the risk far outweighs the gain. It is only a matter of time before Police or Customs will come knocking on your door and you will be facing serious drugs charges,” he said.
The eleven men and one female arrested have their ages ranging from 19 to 59 years old. They face a total count of 79 which a number of them are about illegal drug importation and the possession and supply of high-class drugs.
This is to serve as a warning to the Kiwis, that trading in illicit drugs in the country will no more be easy as they have always had.
In 2015, 1.3% of the New Zealanders admitted to buying illicit drugs on the Darknet, according to a survey conducted by the Global Drug Survey. A recent survey also revealed that 60% of New Zealand narcotic users obtained their drugs from the Darknet. In response to the survey, a number of drug experts predicted a higher number of New Zealanders joining the anonymous online network to buy drugs. Among them is Bruce Berry, the Customs cargo operations manager. He said that some of these Darknet drug buyers trade on the web with the impression that they cannot be caught. His expert opinion may be a major reason why a lot of the Kiwis are making use of the Darknet, and expecting their drugs to get to them through the post offices and the Borders.
“You can go through the Dark web, or even just the open web, and buy five pills of ecstasy and get it sent to a PO Box. People have taken the anonymity of the web to mean it’s not the same as strapping [drugs] to your body and walking through the airport,” he said.
However, the authorities have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that it is not difficult to arrest buyers and sellers who trade on the Darknet.
Detective Sergeant Tim Williams put it in a wonderful way that: “Even if drugs are bought under the guise of the dark web’s anonymity, it is not difficult to link packages to people.”
“Customs and Police are actively targeting opportunists that use the darknet, and investigations such as Operation Tiger shows how small seizures are resulting in greater drug supply disruption in the communities,” he added.
Even though drug trafficking eradication has become a national priority, few countries have shown the zeal to put it under control.