A Finnish man was sentenced to jail by the Helsinki District Court for conspiring with others to import MDMA and other drugs and sell them on darkweb markets.
According to Finnish Customs (Tulli), the 34-year-old defendant was in charge of a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking enterprise with a presence on the now-defunct Silkkitie, Dream, and Sipulimarket darkweb marketplaces.
The defendant began his MDMA distribution activity as a one-man show on the Silkkitie marketplace in 2014. In 2018, he found his first and most significant accomplice, a 40-year-old man from Helsinki. At its height, the operation included at least 12 co-conspirators ranging in age from 24 to 52 years old. After the Silkkitie marketplace was seized in 2019, the party began selling on Sipulimarket.
Tulli investigators discovered the group obtained their drugs from drug dealers in the Netherlands after an investigation and arrest by German customs. One of the group’s drug couriers was apprehended by German customs in February 2020. More than 84,000 euros were seized as a result of the detention.
Co-conspirators hid the bulk drugs in warehouses leased by the organization after a courier returned from the Netherlands with the group’s stock. Rental apartments were used by co-conspirators to package the drugs for individual selling and shipping. The parcels were then picked up by another group of conspirators and mailed to the group’s marketplace customers.
Tulli police searched the apartment in the summer of 2020. 19,000 ecstasy pills, 280 grams of MDMA, 50 LSD tablets, 500 grams of marijuana, and small amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine were seized during the arrest. Tulli investigators also confiscated all of the typical equipment associated with drug distribution activities, including mailing materials, encrypted computers, $100,000 in cash, and over 12,000 euros in Bitcoin.
Tulli revealed in a press release that the company had made more than one million euros from darkweb drug distribution.
The drugs were held in leased warehouses when they arrived, and they were prepared for sale in apartments rented on behalf of the ring members. The defendant then hired people to mail the drug shipments to their intended recipients. The defendant allegedly created a bitcoin mixer to further conceal the group’s illegal activities.
The majority of the ring members have been charged with multiple aggravated drug offenses, and more than five have already been sentenced to jail. The 40-year-old man who was the defendant’s chief accomplice was sentenced to six years and six months in jail.
The 34-year-old defendant was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Helsinki District Court on April 1, 2021.