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French Dark-Web Drug Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

French Dark-Web Drug Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in US Prison

October 11, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A dark web drugs kingpin who was arrested last year when he arrived in the United States to compete in the World Beard and Mustache Championships has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola sentenced 36-year-old French national Gal Vallerius, aka "OxyMonster," after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder money in June this year. According to a press release published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Vallerius was an administrator, senior moderator and vendor on Dream Market —one of the largest dark web marketplaces for illegal narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Launched in November 2013, Dream Market began operating on the TOR "dark web" network and was designed to make it easier for people to anonymously buy and sell illegal items and services in exchange for Bitcoin and other peer-to-peer cryptocurrencies. Vallerius initi
BTC-e Operator, Accused of Laundering $4 Billion, to be Extradited to France

BTC-e Operator, Accused of Laundering $4 Billion, to be Extradited to France

July 17, 2018Swati Khandelwal
In a legal extradition tug-of-war between the United States and Russia, it seems France has won the game, surprisingly. A Greek court has ruled to extradite the Russian cybercrime suspect and the former operator of now-defunct BTC-e crypto exchange to France, instead of the United States or to his native Russia, according to multiple Russian news outlets. Alexander Vinnik , 38, has been accused of laundering more than $4 billion in bitcoin for criminals involved in hacking attacks, tax fraud and drug trafficking with the help of BTC-e crypto exchange. BTC-e, a digital currency exchange service operating since 2011, was seized by the authorities right after Vinnik's arrest in northern Greece in late July 2016 at the request of US law enforcement authorities. Vinnik is also accused to the failure of the once-most famous Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox , which was shut down in 2014 following a series of mysterious robberies, which totaled at least $375 million in Bitcoin
Dark-Web Drug Dealer Arrested After He Travelled US for World Beard Championships

Dark-Web Drug Dealer Arrested After He Travelled US for World Beard Championships

September 28, 2017Unknown
United States authorities arrested suspected dark web drug kingpin late last month while he was travelling from his base in France to the United States of America for this year’s annual World Beard and Mustache Championships. Gal Vallerius, a 38-year-old French national, was travelling to Austin, Texas, for the competition but was caught by U.S. authorities on August 31 upon landing at Atlanta International Airport on a distribution complaint filed in Miami federal court, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday. Authorities confirmed Vallerius' identity to the online moniker " OxyMonster ," which was previously used to sell drugs on an illegal underground dark web marketplace called Dream Market by searching his laptop that the brown-beard contestant carried with him. Alleged Moderator/Admin Of Dark-Web Dream Market According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) affidavit filed in September, Vallerius was an administrator, senior moderator and vendor on Dream
AlphaBay Shut Down After Police Raid; Alleged Founder Commits Suicide in Jail

AlphaBay Shut Down After Police Raid; Alleged Founder Commits Suicide in Jail

July 14, 2017Swati Khandelwal
AlphaBay Market — one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods — that mysteriously went dark earlier this month without any explanation from its admins has reportedly been shut down by the international authorities. On July 4th, the dark web marketplace suddenly went down without any explanation from its admins, which left its customers who have paid large sums in panic. Some customers even suspected that the site's admins had pulled an exit scam to steal user funds. However, according to the Wall Street Journal , the disappearance of the AlphaBay came after authorities in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to conduct a series of raids and arrest  Alexandre Cazes , who allegedly was one of the AlphaBay's operators. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the publication claims that Cazes, a resident of Canada, was arrested in Thailand and taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5th, the same day the
Encrypted Smartphone Network Seized by Dutch Police for Criminal Investigation

Encrypted Smartphone Network Seized by Dutch Police for Criminal Investigation

April 21, 2016Mohit Kumar
On Tuesday, the Dutch Police arrested a 36-year-old man, Danny Manupassa , on suspicion of money laundering and involvement in selling encrypted smartphones to criminals. Manupassa owns a company called Ennetcom , which provides customized Blackberry Phones with the secure PGP-encrypted network. Reportedly, Ennetcom sold nearly 19,000 encrypted cell phones at 1500 euros each in last few years. Police have seized Ennetcom servers based in the Netherlands and Canada and pulled them offline. The seized servers contain data of encrypted communications belong to a large number of criminals. According to a press release , the investigation is ongoing and seized data from the servers will be analyzed soon. Police believe this operation would result in collecting evidence required for solving numerous ongoing investigations involving drug trafficking, assassinations, and other serious crimes. Moreover, Canadian Police is also involved in this investigation and surprisingly, i
Facebook's Vice President Arrested in Brazil for Refusing to Share WhatsApp Data

Facebook's Vice President Arrested in Brazil for Refusing to Share WhatsApp Data

March 01, 2016Wang Wei
Apple is not the only technology giant battling against authorities over a court order; Facebook is also facing the same. Brazil’s federal police arrested Facebook Latin America Vice President for failing to comply with court orders to help investigators in a drug trafficking case that involves WhatsApp, a popular messaging app owned by Facebook that has over 100 Million users in Brazil. Facebook VP Diego Jorge Dzodan was arrested on his way to work in São Paulo, Brazil today because the company refused to provide details of a WhatsApp user involved in organized crime and drug trafficking. Dzodan is still in police custody and is responding to police questioning in Sao Paulo, Local media reported . According to a statement released by a spokesperson from WhatsApp: "We are disappointed that law enforcement took this extreme step. WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have. We cooperated to the full extent of our ability in this case, and while we re
Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

May 30, 2015Mohit Kumar
Ross Ulbricht , the alleged founder and mastermind of the infamous online black marketplace Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of narcotics conspiracy, money laundering and other criminal charges. This means the 31-year-old San Francisco man will die behind bars . With all the seven charges stemming from the creation and operation of the once the Internet's largest online illegal-drug marketplace, Ulbricht was facing 20 years at a minimum sentence, but making life in prison is the harshest possible sentence. Ulbricht's Life in Prison without any possibility of Parole: The sentence was made by Judge Katherine B. Forrest in a Federal District Court in Manhattan, though Forrest admitted it was a "very, very difficult" call to make , leaving Ulbricht without any hope of parole. Operating online as " Dread Pirate Roberts ," Ulbricht ran the $1.2 billion Empire from the year 2011 to 2013, armed just
Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht Convicted of All 7 Charges; Faces Life In Prison

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht Convicted of All 7 Charges; Faces Life In Prison

February 04, 2015Wang Wei
A jury has found Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht  a.k.a Dread Pirate Roberts  guilty on all seven counts and faces Life In Prison for running an underground black market i.e.  Silk Road . Ross Ulbricht, a San Francisco 30-year-old web developer was arrested by FBI in a sting operation in October 2013 accusing him of being the criminal mastermind running Silk Road, where hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal goods were traded. Ross Ulbricht had claimed that he had built Silk Road, but he was not the site's notorious ringleader " Dread Pirate Roberts. " The trial went on for just over three weeks and today the jury of six men and six women charged Ross Ulbricht with seven counts including money laundering, drug trafficking and computer hacking among other things. “ The supposed anonymity of the dark web is not a protective shield from arrest and prosecution ,” according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement after the verdict. Prose
More than 400 Underground Sites seized by FBI in 'Operation Onymous'

More than 400 Underground Sites seized by FBI in 'Operation Onymous'

November 10, 2014Wang Wei
The joint operation by authorities of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and European law enforcement seized Silk Road 2.0 , an alternative to the notorious online illegal-drug marketplace last week, and arrested 26-year-old operator Blake Benthall, but that wasn't the end. US and European authorities over the weekend announced the seizure of 27 different websites as part of a much larger operation called Operation Onymous , which led to take-down of more than "410 hidden services" that sell illegal goods and services from drugs to murder-for-hire assassins by masking their identities using the Tor encryption network. " The action aimed to stop the sale, distribution and promotion of illegal and harmful items, including weapons and drugs, which were being sold on online ‘dark’ marketplaces, " according to the Europol press release . This globally-coordinated take down is the combined efforts of 17 nations which includes the law enforcemen
FBI Seize Silk Road 2.0 Servers; Admin Arrested

FBI Seize Silk Road 2.0 Servers; Admin Arrested

November 07, 2014Mohit Kumar
The authorities of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation have announced that they have arrested " Silk Road 2.0 " operator Blake Benthall , used the alias " Defcon " in California on Wednesday and charged him with conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and other crimes. Silk Road 2, an alternative to the notorious online illegal-drug marketplace that went dark in October of 2013, has been seized in a joint action involving the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and European law enforcement. " As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise, " Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement . " Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will r
Warrant Authorized FBI to Track and Infect Computers with Malware

Warrant Authorized FBI to Track and Infect Computers with Malware

August 06, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Tor has always been a tough target for law enforcement for years, but the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) has found a way to successfully track users across the network. Just a few days back, Tor made a difficult announcement that an attack on its system likely exposed its users of anonymity. Now, a new report from Wired suggests that the FBI has been running a malware campaign to identify Tor users by infecting their computers for years on a large scale. FBI USES DRIVE-BY HACKING TO TRACK USERS Tor is generally thought to be a place where users come online to hide their activities and remain anonymous, but a court case has revealed an opposite story. FBI has been using a tactic called drive-by hacking to track computers using the Tor anonymous computing system. Security researchers call the tactic a “ drive-by download ” in which a hacker infiltrates a high-traffic website to deliver the malware to large swaths of visitors. That simply means t
Silk Road Dealer Plead Guilty For Selling Illegal Drugs for Bitcoins

Silk Road Dealer Plead Guilty For Selling Illegal Drugs for Bitcoins

April 26, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Last October, the ‘ Silk Road ’ story broke when its owner Ross William Ulbricht , a 29-year-old who allegedly created and managed the Silk Road underground website, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The police seized the website that was considered one of the most popular Underground places on the Internet for buying drugs and other illicit goods and services. Just some days after the Shutdown of Silk Road , Authorities in Britain, Sweden, and the United States arrested eight more vendors who dedicatedly used to sell illegal drugs on Silk Road. Yesterday, Cornelis Jan Slomp , a 22-year old Dutch man who allegedly used the Silk Road underground black market website to sell illegal drugs for bitcoins worth millions of dollars has agreed to plead guilty in Chicago federal court to federal drug conspiracy charge filed against him, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon in Chicago and Slomp’s lawyer. FBI CASHING OUT  SEI
Silk Road : 8 more suspected users arrested in US, UK, Sweden

Silk Road : 8 more suspected users arrested in US, UK, Sweden

October 10, 2013Wang Wei
Authorities in Britain, Sweden, and the United States have arrested eight more people in the wake of the shutdown of the Silk Road , online illegal drug marketplace which helped dealers sell drugs under the cloak of anonymity. Millions of Dollars worth of Bitcoins (Electronic currency) had been seized and that other online drug dealer should expect a knock on their door by the National Crime Agency. The other suspects were arrested within hours after the FBI arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht , the suspected creator of Silk Road also known as " Dread Pirate Roberts ". Although, he denies charges that he operated the website. Ulbricht is separately accused in a federal indictment in U.S. District Court in Baltimore with a similar count of narcotics trafficking conspiracy and additional charges of soliciting an $80,000 murder-for-hire of a former Silk Road employee. A federal judge on Wednesday ordered that Ulbricht charged with operating a notorious online drug marketplac
Liberty Reserve founder arrested for money laundering, service closed down

Liberty Reserve founder arrested for money laundering, service closed down

May 26, 2013Mohit Kumar
Liberty Reserve , a payment processor similar to Paypal was down on Saturday after the founder of Liberty Reserve, Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk , 39, on Friday was reportedly arrested in Spain by Costa Rican authorities after his they raided suspect´s home and offices in San José and Heredia. Mr. Belanchuk, a Costa Rican citizen of Ukrainian origin, was under investigation since 2011 after authorities flagged his firm for money laundering . Investigators say that Budovsky’s businesses in Costa Rica , including Liberty Reserve , were used to launder money for child pornography websites and drug trafficking. Liberty Reserve is a largely unregulated money transfer business that allows customers to open accounts using little more than a valid email address, and this relative anonymity has attracted a huge number of customers from underground economies, particularly cyber crime . It allowing users to nearly anonymously open accounts with limited documentation of identity. Dep
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