On June 7, the prosecution charged six men and a woman from Skövde, Sweden, and Grebbestad, Sweden, for running a vendor shop on the dark web selling drugs to their customers.
A law enforcement operation on New Year’s Eve led to a comprehensive indictment of a former convict from Skövde, whom the prosecution believes was the mastermind of the narcotic operation, along with the other six members of the criminal group. The 24-year-old main defendant is accused of serious drug offenses, aggravated money laundering, breach of the Narcotics Act, drug trafficking, and smuggling. The other defendants face similar charges: violations of the Narcotics Act, money laundering crimes, drug trafficking, smuggling, and “abuse in a court case.”
On June 7, prosecutor Sofia Karlsson read the extensive indictment of the seven suspects before the court. Karlsson recommended a sentence of two years in prison for the main defendant. She said that the reason for the short jail time is the fact that the defendant was in police custody since April last year. The prosecutor stated that she believes that the 24-year-old is the “protagonist” of the current indictment. According to Karlsson, law enforcement authorities gained access to the seller profile of the criminal gang, and they identified 226 orders conducted by the gang with the total value of 142,808 SEK ($16,400). However, police were not able to trace the buyers, she added.
The 24-year-old is suspected of the extensive sale of narcotics and drugs on the dark web. According to the court documents, the leader of the criminal group managed the “Lågprishandeln” (“Discounters” in English) vendor profile on Flugsvamp 2.0.
Karlsson said that the investigation started when law enforcement authorities arrested a person connected to the criminal group, who is also charged in the case. The arrest led the investigators to the other members of the gang. During the police raid on New Year’s Eve, law enforcement authorities seized various drugs, which they believe belonged to the main suspect. Karlsson added that the police initially started two parallel investigations, however, later on, the investigators realized that the two were connected.
The indictment disclosed that together with two of the co-defendants, the 24-year-old stored large amounts of cannabis, ecstasy pills, and MDMA (in the form of powder). Additionally, the main suspect, in the period of October 6, 2016, and February 2017, had sold cannabis and cocaine to his customers with the value of 8,550 SEK ($980).
The 23-year-old woman allegedly lent his apartment in Linghem to the main defendant for the storage of narcotics. According to the prosecution, the woman was also involved in the sale of the drugs. The indictment stated that when the main suspect ordered the illegal substances, he used the woman’s address for deliveries in several occasions.
Court documents stated that the drug sale was conducted locally via “traditional methods,” not just on the dark web. The 19-year-old suspect allegedly sold 170 ecstasy pills and two grams of cocaine to local customers for 16,000 SEK ($1,835). In addition, the main defendant also trafficked narcotics locally, he allegedly sold 75 ecstasy pills for 2,800 SEK ($320) in Bottnaryd and 20 grams of cocaine in Skövde for 16,000 SEK ($1,835).
According to the court documents, the 24-year-old paid 20,000 SEK ($2,300) to the 31-year-old to launder the money the gang made from the drug business. In addition, when the 19-year-old defendant disclosed information with the police during his questioning, the 24-year-old and the 31-year-old allegedly threatened him that he would be shot in the forehead. According to the court documents, the two defendants’ threat went by:
“When the rest of the guys will know about this [that the 19-year-old told information to the police], it will be a nasty case. What do you think will happen to you in the end? Do you think we will forget? You’ve really made a fool of you, we have people everywhere, we will find you.”
According to the prosecution, the narcotic business had been run professionally by the gang on a large scale. The prosecution emphasized the dangers that the criminal group generated with the sale of drugs, saying that, in most cases, the defendants did not know the age of their customers.