India’s “CryptoKing” Arrested by Police: Using Bitcoin to Trade Drugs on the Dark Web

A drug dealer by the name of Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar who used cryptocurrency to deal with illegal drugs and substances has been arrested by the police, earlier this week, according to a report by ANI.

Adivirkar was known as the ‘crypto king’ due to his choice of payment method to source drugs from key dealers. A Mumbai based IT graduate by profession, he would receive money from the drug dealers in cash and would allegedly use Bitcoin to score drugs from the dark web for them, while charging them a commission for his troubles.

According to Sameer Wankhede, Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau unit in Mumbai, in a conversation with Vice, the dealer would transfer the money to a friend's bank account, and then this person would transfer it to another person who would withdraw and give the amount to Adivirkar who would then use it to load up his Bitcoin wallets to pay drug vendors in locations like Poland using the dark web.

The recipients of bitcoin then would ship the drugs through a postal service. This racket apparently has been active for more than two years, according to officials. It only came to their attention when the Narcotics Control Bureau seized 20 LSD blots from Mumbai's Malad, in November 2020.

At the time they arrested five people, and discovered that the LSD was actually made in Europe. However, looking at the quantity they were able to presume the involvement of the dark web, thus finding links with Adivirkar.

Officials discovered that Adivirkar was in possession of several bitcoin wallets including nation’s popular crypto-exchange platform WazirX. They were able to trace Adivirkar after an intelligence operation revealed two suspicious transactions made from his crypto wallet.

Wankhede told Vice, “It’s cheaper for them to buy these drugs on the dark web and then sell them in India for a higher profit. It’s become a trend for rich kids and influencers who don’t want to [physically] meet a dealer to get drugs.”

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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