Ireland is in the spotlight for leading in the importation of hallucinogens by accessing the deep web; a Europol report has shown recently that the European reach for drugs does not alone come from the Netherlands, Germany or Slovakia. In fact, for many years, trading drugs on the darknet have presented European countries all over with a significant threat of it increasing over time. According to the Europol report launched at the beginning of December 2017, the continent needs to address the matter more urgently than ever before. It may already be too late, but law enforcement wants to at least slow the progression downward.
According to this report, the world is experiencing an increase in drug sales on these darknet markets beyond the scope of a few countries. The global drug market is enormous and this is a blink on the radar, but for respect to the audience the darknet serves, the increase is expanding and significantly larger than it was just a few years ago.
— Colm Vambeck (@ColmVambeck) December 3, 2017
The report targeted the sale of narcotics on darknet markets such as AlphaBay especially in countries in the European Union. For instance, they linked closely to Norway and Turkey. They also discovered that the UK, Germany and the Netherlands were the leading players in the purchasing of drugs on the darknet.
The report was specific in showing that the massive sale of darknet products in the continent between the 22nd November 2011 and the 16th February 2015 were made in the three countries named above. For instance, Germany is the leading darknet drug smuggling country of 2017 with more than €26.6 million in the total sales. The United Kingdom was second with €20.3 million while the Netherlands came third with over €17.9 million in total sales.
The difference between in sales between these countries and other market players in Europe is high, as per the report. Belgium had €4.7 million, Spain €1.2 and Croatia 2.3. Sweden accounted for more than €1.2 million.
The report further expressed that Ireland was the leading buyer of hallucinogens in the deep web. Cannabis and dissociatives the second to the hallucinogens in terms of imports made through the darknet marketplaces.
The report was presented in Lisbon and was a collaboration of the Europol in conjunction with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The two said that the trafficking of illicit drugs formed two-thirds of the economy in the encrypted dark web with the majority of all payments made using anonymous bitcoin wallet holders.
Rob Wainright, director at Europol, said that the sharing of intelligence in the continent would help fight the suppliers. Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom account for nearly 46 percent, or about €80 million of the global sales made on the leading 16 major darknet markets as per a study carried out between 2011 and 2015.
The report further advised security agencies to step up in their war against illicit trade on the darknet. Such is the case already as reported that Europol and the EU are working together to fight darknet drug trades. It noted that the majority of darknet markets are dynamic and keep evolving to survive the efforts of shutting them down, as major shutdowns of Alphabay and Hansa Market have caused concern for many vendors and site owners.
EMCDDA chief Alexis Goosdeel expressed his concerns about how easy it is to buy narcotics on the internet.
“In just a few clicks, any buyer can purchase almost any type of drug on the darknet, be it cannabis (and hemp products), cocaine, heroin or a series of new substances,” he said.
Goosdeel said that the abuse of such substances could lead to disastrous effects on the health and security of people living in Europe and the rest of the world.
The European Commissioner for Home Affairs at the EU, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said the union was working on measures necessary to fight illegal drugs as well as boost their ability to deal with cybersecurity threats such as hacking and the global DDoS Attacks.
Ireland signed up to the Operation Hyperion in October 2016 along with the Netherlands using Hyperion to scare deep web users. This was a deal made by several law-enforcement and security agencies across the world to target who were using the darknet marketplaces to buy or sell drugs, weapons, contrabands as well as stolen identities.