Silk Road Drug Dealers Busted for Selling Illegally in New Zealand

Basil Assaf
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The UK authorities have arrested a student and four other compatriots for selling Ketamine, LSD, and Ecstasy on the Darknet marketplace scene.

This news follows a recent prosecution that involved a 19-year-old boy ordering drugs worth 1,000 GBP found on a bitcoin wallet. His 32 months jail sentence did not serve as a deterrent as more students in the United Kingdom continue to buy and sell illegal drugs from the dark web. UK Students turn to the darknet for cheap and quick drugs.

Their area of operation was mainly in Europe, New Zealand and Australia with distributions in some selected parts elsewhere. According to a report, the total estimate of the distributed drugs over time was worth 1.14 million USD. We once reported how authorities in New Zealand are using science to combat darknet marketplace crime. However, this recent report shows that it is not working, their methods.

In the Manchester Crown Court last week, it was revealed that the suspects were Manchester University students from 2011-2013. The interest of the authorities was to subject the arrested dealers to the law and clearly define to prevent future operation. Basil Assaf, 26, the leader of the gang said to the court that he was inspired by a fictional TV series “Breaking Bad”, and Walter White. This show featured the chemical created drug, crystal meth. However, this drug was not the focus as it has been with past arrests made in Austria for crystal meth sales.

Manchester Student Drug RIng Bust

Basil Assaf, together with his compatriots Elliott Hyams, 26, James Roden, 25, and Jaikishen Patel, 26, spent almost all their lives on campus trafficking drugs on the infamous Silk Road. After the FBI took over the market and jailed its administrators, a comprehensive investigation led to the arrest of most of its users. This led to the watchful eye of the FBI and authorities that ultimately led to 2017 and its shutdown of Alphabay and Hansa markets.

After it came to light that Assaf was part of the Silk Road drug traffickers, the National Crime Agency conducted a search in his flat and discovered a drug factory. From investigations, the suspect did not only made sales on the top Darknet markets and had ways of delivering drugs to buyers in person.

Assaf found fortune in illegal drug sales and even spent some holidays in the Bahamas and Jamaica.

From a retrieved message between Assaf and a friend, he wrote about his accumulated Bitcoins. “No one could find out how many bitcoins accumulated and are stored elsewhere.” He also wrote in another message that: “I and Jamie have accepted we’re more than happy to do time for all of this. If BTC debit card use continues going up whilst we’re inside there’s a chance we’ll come out with mills.” This and many other messages in the courtroom spoke of these drug dealings.

During the trial, the young man denied this and said that these messages were all lies.  He told the court that he is in debt, so any message of hidden Bitcoins is untrue. He, however, pleaded guilty to “importing, exporting and supplying controlled drugs, along with his co-defendants, geology student Hyams…computer science student Roden…and pharmacology student Patel…” according to a report.

James-Roden-Basil-Assaf-and-Joshua-Morgan

He has been sentenced to 15 years and 3 months in jail. An investigation is being conducted to find out about the credibility of the hidden Bitcoin issue.

In court, Judge Michael Leeming said “drugs are blights on our society. Misery and degradation are the typical results.” He added that “as intelligent young men, you will each appreciate that misery is caused and certainly contributed by people like you.”

In view of this arrest, a message has been sent to the youth and the teenagers that the law has no mercy for young people. The Darknet has been reported to harbor a lot of teenagers from Britain.

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