According to NZDarknet, Police in Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago have caught 12 people involved in selling drugs online through the dark web. They sold drugs like cocaine, LSD, MDMA, cannabis, and fantasy. The drugs were bought on the dark web, brought into New Zealand, and then sold on a special Facebook site that only invited members could access. The police have been watching this online activity for several months.
Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis explained that they focused on those who thought they could trade secretly online. In recent weeks, 12 arrests were made in the Queenstown, Roxburgh, and Wānaka areas. The total amount of drugs or money involved is not clear. However, there were big transactions, like one involving $142,000, possibly in cryptocurrency, which is often used for anonymous payments on the dark web.
Inglis mentioned that drug dealing has evolved with the internet. Now, dealers use secure websites on the dark web, which they think are anonymous, to sell drugs. This problem is growing, he said. Despite recent arrests, the police are still trying to keep up with this issue. Queenstown is known for having high MDMA usage.
To help with the investigation, 30 extra police officers were sent to Queenstown to carry out searches. The people arrested include locals, foreigners, and a gang member. They range in age from 19 to their 40s