Law enforcement authorities in Kronoberg County, Sweden arrested 10 of the 50 alleged suspects who were identified as dark net narcotics buyers.
”We have received information that there are suspected buyers in Ljungby. In Växjö, two people were arrested in Araby Park. Police found a few hundred grams of cannabis on them,” said Robert Loeffel, Head of Region South.
Operation Hyperion was the first ever global law enforcement action against dark net suspects. Earlier this month, Sweden claimed they have deanonymized 3,000 dark web buyers and identified about 20,000 sales on the markets.
Some arrests were already conducted on the 3,000 identified suspects by Swedish law enforcement authorities. The most recent one was a bust on a vendor shop in Mariestad. Police arrested a woman and three men who are believed to be the ones who were running the shop on the dark net. According to information provided by the Skaraborg District Court, the dealers offered 15 kinds of different drugs to their customers including LSD. Authorities believe the alleged criminals made about five million SEK ($540,000) by distributing narcotics.
Another recent case in Sweden includes the arrest of 12 persons in Olofström who allegedly sold fentanyl on the dark web. Police only found small amounts of the synthetic drug during the home search, however, authorities started to worry that the new epidemic would spread.
“It shows up very often and we believe it [fentanyl] is used continuously in the country. A few years ago there was a trend of fentanyl patch, in recent times, we have seen it in the form of nasal spray,” a police officer investigating the case said. “I want to say that the synthetic version is even more dangerous. It is difficult to quantify and may differ much in strength. And it is very addictive. We already had a death in Vaxjo. The Internet has become a way for dealers. But hashish and amphetamines are still common drugs in the streets. Other drugs, such as synthetic heroin, are sold mostly on the network. Those it [fentanyl] has taken, are not been among the younger people, but we don’t know that for sure. Trading on the internet is not as easy as it seems.”
ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) published a press release on October 31 announcing Operation Hyperion.
“‘Operation Hyperion’ was initiated by U.S. federal law enforcement, the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) and members of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, as the first step in developing a more unified global law enforcement response to the growing usage of the dark net by individuals seeking to buy and sell illicit drugs and other illegal goods and services,” the press release reads. “While illegal drugs continue to be the biggest item purchased and sold on dark net marketplaces, law enforcement agencies around the world are also seeing counterfeit prescription drugs and other counterfeit items, dangerous and deadly synthetic drugs like Fentanyl, deadly toxins, fake and stolen identities, identity documents and stolen credit card data, as well as illegal services like computer hacking, murder for hire and money laundering.”
“International partners included Europol the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency; Australian Federal Police; New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs Service; Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post and Canada Border Services Agency; The Netherlands; French Customs National Intelligence and Investigations Directorate; Finnish Customs; Swedish Police Authority and Swedish Customs; Ireland’s Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau; and Spain’s Guardia Civil.”
International partners included Europol the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency; Australian Federal Police; New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs Service; Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post and Canada Border Services Agency; The Netherlands; French Customs National Intelligence and Investigations Directorate; Finnish Customs; Swedish Police Authority and Swedish Customs; Ireland’s Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau; and Spain’s Guardia Civil.