Narcotics body makes first ever ‘darkweb’ drug bust in India, 55,000 tablets seized

Darknet refers to the hidden internet platform that is used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornography and other illegal activities.

Published: 10th February 2020 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2020 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

drugs, representational image

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Narcotics Control Board (NCB) on Sunday said it has arrested the country’s first ‘darknet’ narcotics operative who allegedly shipped hundreds of psychotropic drug parcels abroad in the garb of sex stimulation medicines. Dipu Singh, 21, son of a retired army officer, was arrested by the sleuths of the Delhi zonal unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) from Lucknow recently.

Darknet refers to the hidden internet platform that is used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornography and other illegal activities. Owing to its end-to-end encryption, it is considered very tough to crack.
“Singh is a major player on the darknet. His listings were found in one of the biggest and reliable darknet markets like Empire Market and Majestic Garden,” NCB Deputy Director General (operations) Rajesh Nandan Srivastava said.

Singh initially began with shipping medicines related to erectile dysfunction and fitness supplements to overseas locations using the dark internet facility, but later shifted to transacting in psychotropic drugs under this garb seeing the profit margin in this illegal trade, the DDG added. He was arrested by the central anti-narcotics agency under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after raids were conducted at his residence in Lucknow’s Alam Bagh area.

While 12,000 tablets of various psychotropic drugs were seized from his residence, the NCB alleges Singh is a “mastermind” of hundreds of drug parcels clandestinely couriered to countries like the USA, UK, Romania, Spain and some European nations using the dark web. A total of 55,000 psychotropic tablets that includes tramadol, zolpidem, alprazolam have been seized as part of this two-month-long operation that was conducted with cooperation from international agencies, NCB Delhi zonal director K P S Malhotra said.The NCB was part of a global ‘Operation Trance’, launched last year, entailing a joint intelligence gathering action on international postal, express mail and courier shipments containing psychotropic drugs.   

Global operation
The NCB was part of a global ‘Operation Trance’, launched last year, entailing a joint intelligence gathering action on international postal, express mail and courier shipments containing psychotropic drugs. 55,000 psychotropic tablets that includes tramadol, zolpidem, alprazolam have been seized as part of this operation                             

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