Melbourne Man Pleaded Guilty to Darknet Shopping Scam

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It happened on a black marketplace online where former Canberra man Tanmoy Islam had met a man whose identity is unknown. The two came to an agreement that man (with an unknown identity), would purchase goods with skimmed credit card numbers, and send them to Islam. Islam would then sell the goods on eBay and in exchange for that, the man would take a cut and also take care of Islam’s bills.

Between August and December 2014, the unknown man placed orders at seven online stores and bought items including cricket batting gloves, cricket bats, Nike sneakers, football jerseys and compression gear. He also spent $750 at an online store to purchase a sleep apnoea machine. The total value of the items purchased illegally was over $23,600. The items directed or addressed to Islam and also several made-up names would arrive at the post office or the numerous addresses affiliated to Islam, who would pick them up.

After keeping track of orders, police tracked a 36-year –old associate of Islam, and the associate revealed to them that they paid the scammer man in bitcoins after being subjected to questioning.

On December 16, Police searched Islam’s home in Harrison, where they discovered a number of brand new items that matched those in the fraudulent transactions.

On November 7 that same year, Islam was apprehended in a police investigation when the manager of a sports store located in Fyshwick, the Greg Chappell Cricket Centre reported swindling or fraudulent transactions. In May 2015, police officers had a look at the records of Islam’s eBay, which cataloged a number of items that happen to match items on the fraudulent invoices and orders.

Some had already been sold, of course, amounting to the tune of $1500 worth of transactions. The allegations were set out in an agreed statement of facts of the police that was submitted to the court on Monday. This had also stated that Islam had knowledge the items had been obtained illegally.

In the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday, Islam, who now resides in Melbourne, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of stolen property and money laundering.

He had been charged with 10 counts of acquiring or attempting to acquire property by deception, but these charges were withdrawn by the prosecutor on Monday. The case is scheduled in court for sentencing on the 16th of June. There have been warnings sounded by the Australian Police over the rampant use of Darknet for many criminal and illegal activities.

Australian Police Concerned of Illicit Darknet Sales

Australia has track records of people who were arrested over Darknet illegalities. Weapons, identities, child porn, drugs, and other contraband can be obtained or bought on an online website called the ‘Darknet’ or ‘deepweb’. A local newspaper reported a case of a fake identification card purchased by a 16 years old. The card enabled the teenager to visit clubs and pubs and buy alcohol. He bought the card for $140 from an online market whiles a different seller on that same website offered a driver’s license for $385.86.

When questioned about the fake cards, the Australian Federal police warned against trading on the Darknet saying the guilty party would face prosecution just as some other countries. Police were running covert operations to catch offenders, they said.

A federal police spokeswoman said “online crime has evolved in an environment that offers a degree of anonymity and global reach across jurisdictions. Officers were actively involved in many types of dark-web forums in a covert capacity.”

Australian federal police warned people that engaging in illegal activities through an online marketplace will not guarantee that their real identity will always remain anonymous and when caught, they will face the law. Although online stores are commonly based overseas, Australian importers of illegal products are within the reach of the AFP.

The efforts of the Australian authorities to track down users who use the Darknet markets for unlawful activities are satisfactory so far.

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