As previously covered by CCN, two of darknet’s biggest marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, were taken down by law enforcement. AlphaBay was taken down by an operation dubbed “Bayonet”, which included raids on the market’s server in Canada and the U.S., and the arrest of Canadian national Alexander Cazes, its admin, in Thailand. Alexander was later found dead in his cell.
When AlphaBay was taken down, various users flocked to alternative markets, including Hansa. It was later revealed that Hansa had been under Dutch police control for a while, and it was ultimately taken down. Dutch police gathered information on its users and sent data packages to various law enforcement organizations around the globe. At the time, CCN warned follow-up arrests were to be expected.
Dutch police even tweeted out they knew about at least 500 different buyer addresses in the country:
Arrests Already Started
There has been a string of darknet and drug-related arrests all over the world, as various news reports detailing cases keep on surfacing. On the r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit, users have even created a timeline on what has happened so far.
Moreover, per a redditor’s post, it’s clear that authorities aren’t just going after vendors and buyers who purchased significant amounts. According to the user, who created a throwaway account to create the thread, he ordered on Hansa before it went down, and is now being prosecuted for buying less than $20 worth of meth.
The user further revealed that he didn’t use proper encryption, which might be part of the reason he’s being prosecuted. The post reads:
I used auto-encrypt cause I was drunk when I ordered. This is west Europe. The police supposedly got the info today from the dutch police.
In light of these arrests, redditors on the DarkNetMarkets subreddit already started to discuss what to do if they get caught.
In a Public Service Announcement (PSA), one redditor quotes lawyers in advising American users not to say anything to police if they get caught, effectively invoking their right to remain silent.
Various users go on to add further advice or ask questions on what to do if they get caught, such as to not even deny anything. One redditor adds:
Absolutely. And to expound on this just a little, don’t even deny anything. If you haven’t been arrested yet (even if they ‘detain’ you), the only two things which should come out of your mouth are: “Am I free to go?” and some version of “Me. Lawyer. Now,” If you have been arrested, the latter.
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