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August 20, 2021 at 1:30 pm #36496brucemooring
South Tyneside men arrested as drugs gang ‘dismantled’
A gang selling ecstasy around the globe on the dark web has been “dismantled”, police have said.
Two men from South Tyneside have already been arrested on suspicion of importing and supplying drugs.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has been investigating after parcels of MDMA destined for Europe, Asia and the USA were intercepted last summer.
Operations manager Martin Clarke said the gang had been “preying on the vulnerable and destroying communities” ;.
“This investigation shows that those who attempt to use the dark web and encrypted communication devices to anonymously commit crimes may be identified,” he said.
Drugs with a street value of £4.3m have been recovered, including MDMA, amphetamines and more than 6,000 Diazepam (alprazolam) tablets, the agency said.
Cryptocurrency money laundering
Officers seized cell phones, computers and drug packaging paraphernalia.
Encrypted messages were analysed to spot those selling drugs and darkode market laundering money using cryptocurrency.
The drugs were being imported from Holland and then obsessed about the dark web under four names: HundredsUK, Hundredsandthousands, Sundaefundae, and 100and1000s.
Two men, aged 24 and 31, have now been arrested in South Shields and Hebburn on suspicion of importing and supplying Class A, B and C drugs.
Officers searched other addresses in South Shields and an address in Epsom, Surrey.
The agency was still trying to find two folks from South Shields that are thought to be overseas, it said.