A young man in Upper Bavaria was recently arrested for trying to buy a pistol on the DNMs. The deal never went through. Very few knew what happened to the man after he was arrested and sent to a facility; newly released data reveals that the LKA was involved in the attempted firearm purchase and local police only conducted the raid.
Germany cracked down on darknet transactions. Nearly every day, German law enforcement provides the world with another darknet-related arrest to read about. The words Holger Muench said following the Munich shooting were not said lightheartedly.
He said that the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Police Office or BKA) saw the darknet as a high priority. As such, law enforcement throughout Germany directed focus towards the darknet.
Drug buyers and vendors have been routinely raided. Chemical Love went down. Chemical Love customers throughout Germany were raided shortly afterwards. Large amphetamine vendors keep getting busted. Some vendors disappeared without anyone the wiser—often resulting in honeypots and similar forms of traps for buyers.
However, the focus on weapons became glaringly obvious. The majority of arrests were firearm-related. The BKA has primarily arrested customers but vendors have not been ignored. For the most part, German law enforcement played the role of a buyer when catching a vendor. The opposite has been true when catching a buyer. Police have often taken over a vendor’s account and used it to catch customers.
Germany (and Europol as a whole) called the deepweb “an interface for terrorism.” That was when the focus shifted once more. Thomas de Maizière, Federal Minister of the Interior, Muench, and many Europol officials concluded that drugs were not the priority. Terrorism on the darknet was more important.
Police were to focus on any part of the darknet that would provide interest to terrorists. Officials agreed that firearms and counterfeit identification documents were the greatest threat.
“The BKA will also step up efforts against organized crime on the Internet, which facilitates extremist bombers business. Online marketplaces in the so-called darknet would gain more and more importance,” Münch said.
We then saw fake ID vendors get arrested. Counterfeit money vendors/printers too. But the darknet-firearm arrests have risen to an all time high.
The arrest of the Upper-Bavarian man lacked details at first. The press release was void of relevant information. It appeared, initially, as if only the the Bavarian State Police conducted the investigation and takedown. However, further information has revealed that the Landeskriminalamt (LKA) played a major role in the investigation. The LKA has often provided specialist support to state police forces in cases that involved large-scale drug or weapon smuggling. They did exactly that in the case against the upper Bavarian man.
LKA officials were the ones behind the actual online transaction. They set up the transaction with the 28-year-old Glock buyer. No specific investigative methods were disclosed but previous firearm cases shed light on the topic; the BKA and LKA announced that they had full cooperation from the Munich gunman’s vendor, including access to his vendor account and PGP keys. His account, they openly stated, was used to trap other buyers.
The state police, with the information and evidence provided by the federal police specialists, raided the man. No firearm was found, as with most failed darknet marketplace purchases. The cocaine and heroin were not as surprising as the full cannabis grow operation the 28-year-old had developed.
He was charged with the charges usually seen in these cases. Police determined, after the fact, that the cocaine and heroin were ordered from the darknet. They also found a “portable” taser. The electroshock device, as police described, came from a darknet vendor as well.