By CCN.com: A recent report from news and media platform The Examiner Live has confirmed that four members of an organized crime ring that dealt in crystal meth in Yorkshire have been slapped with a 31-year jail term.
Crystal meth is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and according to the source, the gang’s leader- whose name was given a Hassan Jalilian- imported the substance through children’s toys from Canada.
The gang was reported to have sold over 1 kilo of various drugs- including ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine, and crystal meth- worth tens of thousands of dollars over four months back in 2017. According to prosecutor Patrick Palmer, Jalilian purchased the drugs through his contacts on the Dark Web, imported them, and sent out anonymous text messages to his potential clients informing them of the drugs’ availability. From there, the drugs were moved by his henchmen and all payments were made through Bitcoin (BTC), as the organization preferred to use the cryptocurrency’s anonymous and untraceable nature to keep its operations devoid of a paper trail.
Ongoing plans for expansion
In a raid of their base of operations, police found £45,037 ($58,287) in cash, illegal drugs worth an estimated value of £61,000 ($78,940), as well as CS spray and two hunting knives. Police also searched Jalilian’s mobile phone and found a photo of him posing with a bottle of what he called “napalm” and pictures of guns and ammunition.
Jalilian was reported to have run the operation from the flat of his then-girlfriend Cheryl Scott. Then, he went on to recruit Michael Bendo and Gohar Manzoor, both of whom were already addicts at the time, to help with moving drugs for sale.
The report claimed that he had turned a building into his factory, and he was in the process of converting the building into a gym to serve as a front for his business. The sentencing included 11-and-a-half years behind bars for Jalilian and a seven-and-a-half-year disqualification from driving. Scott, whose house was used as their base, received a 5-year sentence. Bendo and Manzoor got 8 years and 88 months respectively. In addition to the main culprits, Manzoor’s wife Razna Begun was hit with a year-long community order sentence, as well as a 10-day rehabilitation order.
Crypto’s dark side continues to rear its ugly head
The use of cryptocurrencies for facilitating illegal operations is one of the primary reasons why these assets continue to suffer a bad reputation. The modus operandi of this criminal organization is the same one being followed by many out there. Numerous drug traffickers all over the world have come to capitalize on digital currencies and their untraceable nature to move and liquidate the funds gotten from their operations. However, since digital asset movements leave a trail on their native blockchains, it’s still possible to follow their transfers.
Earlier this month, various government authorities, including the Office of Manhattan’s District Attorney, issued an indictment of a group of people who were allegedly running an illegal drug trafficking operation, while using Bitcoin to launder their proceeds. According to a press release published by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office on April 16, the individuals were accused of operating a store on the Dark Web, through which they shipped in “hundreds of thousands” of counterfeit drugs.
The traffickers reportedly laundered about $2.3 million in BTC via reloaded debit cards and converted their digital assets to cash through various ATMs across the country. The charges leveled against them include money laundering and conspiracy, and they’re expected to be arraigned before a New York State Supreme Court.