US, UK Top Cryptomarkets Online Illegal Drug Trades

Compared to the days of Silk Road ter 2013, the number of transactions of illicit drugs on the cryptomarkets has tripled, with revenues doubling, says a fresh report by Zoom Europe.

The not-for-profit research institute, whose mission is to help improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis, names vendors who indicated they were operating from the U.S. spil having the highest market share of drugs (35.9 procent of total drug revenues).

This is closely followed by the U.K. (16.1 procent) and Australia (Ten.6 procent). Germany is next at 8.Four procent while The Netherlands had a 7.1 procent revenue share.

That is 890 vendors operating from the United States followed by 338 from the United Kingdom and 225 from Germany.

Online Drugs a Niche Market

Commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, Zoom Europe came up with a examine that looked at the characteristics of vendors, buyers and other actors involved te online drugs trade.

It also looked into the type of narcotics being sold online, the size of online drugs trade and how this might be tackled through law enforcement activities.

Total drug revenues on cryptomarkets (excluding prescription drugs, wijngeest, and tobacco) during January 2016 were estimated to be inbetween $12 million and $21.1 million. Considering that the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) states that the total offline market for drugs is much larger, and is estimated to be $Two.Three billion on average vanaf month for Europe alone, the figures suggest that cryptomarkets are only a niche market.

However, it says there is evidence that drugs sold on cryptomarkets are fuelling offline drug markets with buyers sourcing stock for offline distribution.

Top on the list of the reported illicit drugs sold on cryptomarkets are marihuana (37 procent), stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines 29 procent), and ecstasy-type drugs (Nineteen procent).

Seeking Out the Internet Drug Trade

Zoom, which collaborated with Judith Aldridge from the University of Manchester and David Decary-Hetu from the University of Montreal, used four broad potential strategies that are available to law enforcement agencies for the detection and intervention of the internet-facilitated drugs trade.

The plans include traditional investigation mechanisms applied te the drug chain (e.g. surveillance, undercover operations), postal detection and interception (e.g. collaboration inbetween law enforcement agencies and postal services), online detection (e.g. big gegevens mechanisms, monitoring of online marketplaces, tracking money flows), and online disruption (e.g. taking down online marketplaces).

The researchers say there are around 50 so-called cryptomarkets and vendor shops where anonymous sellers and buyers find each other to trade illegal drugs, fresh psychoactive substances, prescription drugs and other goods and services.

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