An Australian man accused of purchasing more than a kilogram of MDMA and amphetamine via the dark web had his bail appeal thrown out.
23-year-old Jay Vince, a native of Highton, Victoria was alleged to have imported 835g of amphetamine and 219g of MDMA from the Netherlands. According to the Geelong Magistrates’ Court, the goods were arranged to arrive in nine batches.
The problem of dark web dealings including drugs, guns and other illicit products drug in Australia continues to flourish mainly because this modern age business model is almost undetectable.
Many Supreme Court judges have however issued warnings that, all dealers, opening up shops on the growing dark web marketplaces, are likely to face tougher sentences when caught.
Just recently, a report endorsed by the United Nations revealed that Australians were buying firearms and explosives from the dark web. In addition, they were also downloading manuals and instructions on how to make bombs from sellers abroad.
Also, the report revealed that Australians were accessing 12 main encrypted dark web marketplaces with over 167,000 illegal product listings.
Reports from Harry Gonopoulos, Australian Federal Police First Constable, alleged that the drugs were imported between August and September this year, through Melbourne and Sydney.
“Each consignment had been facilitated by Jay Vince. During an interview he stated no one else was involved with the importation,” Constable Gonopoulos stated.
“The consignments were ordered in his name. There’s also evidence on his computer that he made the orders,” he added.
Despite Mr. Vince’s mother presenting her Corio home as a guarantee during the bail hearing, he is still going to remain in custody.
Mr. Vince is charged with 16 offenses, including ¬importing marketable quantities of ice and MDMA, and trafficking marketable quantities of MDMA and cannabis.
Constable Gonopoulos stated that, during a police raid at the house of Mr. Vince, 359g of drugs including cannabis and MDMA, were found. In addition, the police also seized two computers from the raid.
He continued to say that the AFP officers uncovered a white envelope which had stamps from the Netherlands, drug accessories and 235g of cannabis during the raid.
According to Constable Gonopoulos, the accused posed an impermissible flight risk and would easily lay hands on “large sums” of money when released on bail.
“There wasn’t that much cash located at the premises (during the raid) and the way the dark networks is that money gets transferred between accounts using Bitcoin,” he stated.
Constable Gonopoulos again stated that the $225,000 guarantee didn’t in anyway reduce the concerns and possibility that, Mr. Vince would flee the country while on bail.
Andrew Zingler, Mr. Vince’s lawyer stated that this is the first time his client has been in custody after he was arrested in the early stages of this month.
“He is a man who is slight and vulnerable in a custody setting,” Mr. Zingler said.
He stressed on the suggestion that, his client should be let out on bail due to significant gaps in court proceedings.
“This matter can’t be heard until the middle of next year,” Mr. Zingler added.
Naomi Kohn, the federal prosecutor, however, stated that, the case against Mr. Vince had a strong foundation and that the maximum penalty for the charges he is facing was 25 years in jail.
Magistrate John Lesser also added that Mr. Vince had not shown some exceptionally convincing circumstances to be granted bail.
The court later heard that the raid of Mr. Vince’s home was all part of “Operation Thrupe” which targets drug imports from the Netherlands.
Earlier this year, a research presented at Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association Conference placed Australia amongst the leading countries in the dark web drugs trade, with more online drug vendors per capita than any other country except the Netherlands.
The Australian dark web drug trade comprised of some vital players in the illegal drug trade. Cannabis led in popularly, making up 25% of all recorded transactions. Prescription drugs followed next with 20%, ecstasy getting 16%, psychedelics such as magic mushrooms and LSD constituting 12%, methamphetamine also gave 12% with cocaine also accounting for 8%.
Opioids accounted for only 3% of all transactions undertaken by Australian dark web marketplace traders.
However, despite the rise in dark web drug trading, many people remain optimistic, with genuine reasons that, this issues and its impact on its consumers and the society, in general, are gradually going to wear off.
But the rate at which these problems are occurring still gives rise for some serious concerns.