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Dark web likely isn’t fuelling international drug sales

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Stuart Smith
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Since Silk Road the first cryptomarket was put under the spotlight in 2011, the role these online market places play in global illegal trade has become hotly debated.

The German police, for example, seized 320 kilos of drugs when it arrested Shiny Flakes, a 20-year-old cryptomarket drug dealer whose profits were estimated at 1 million euros for the six months prior to his arrest.

Cryptomarkets allow drug dealers to tap into additional revenue streams, reducing many of the risks associated with offline markets e.g.

With this in mind, RAND Europe, in collaboration with the Universities of Montreal and Manchester, looked at the role of the Internet, particularly cryptomarkets that exist on the dark web, in facilitating the trade of illicit drugs.Clearly, these cryptomarkets continue a steady trade.

And the results also show drug transactions have tripled and monthly revenues have doubled.But how global is this trade?

Our data suggests, however, that very few vendors operate from emerging economies, such as Southern Asia heroin , Latin America cannabis, cocaine , northern Africa cannabis resin , or China synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances .While it is difficult to derive information about buyer locations, sellers usually indicate the countries or continents they are willing to ship their products to.

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