The Australian Border Force (ABF) announced the arrest of the woman on Friday on suspicion she imported MDMA (aka Ecstasy), as well as opioids Fentanyl and Oxycodone. Fentanyl is believed to be between 50 and 100 times more potent than Morphine, making it more difficult for recreational users to determine a safe amount of dosage.
The charges themselves were clearly related to the drug ownership, and not the usage of Bitcoin per se. Dark web currencies also include privacy coins like Monero, but also Litecoin, an asset used for everyday transactions with increasing merchant adoption.g
The ABF issued a warning that “people shouldn’t assume the dark web is invisible to Australian agencies” adding that the accused “used a dark web portal and cryptocurrency Bitcoin to order, pay and organize multiple shipments of illicit drugs from the United Kingdom."
The ABF said it quickly coordinated with Australia’s Federal Police (AFP) after detecting the suspect’s illegal drug transactions. The AFP immediately conducted an investigation and processed search warrants against the suspect.
Terry Price, ABF regional commander for Queensland, added:
"Through close collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are able to detect imports purchased through these sites."
The AFP boasted that it has the capability to monitor criminal activities on the dark web and said several arrests were made last year through its online investigation.
The latest arrest involving cryptocurrencies indicate that the two agencies have further developed their capabilities.
US wants crypto regulation to arrest growth of opioid addiction
Lawmakers in the United States are pushing for stricter rules on cryptocurrencies amidst fears that people have been using digital currencies to buy and sell illegal drugs.
The move is being pushed after 146 packages containing Fentanyl were seized by authorities that were paid for using cryptocurrencies.
In several congressional hearings for a stepped-up regulation on virtual currencies, lawmakers have cited reports that rising opioid addiction in the country is now being fueled by cryptos as criminals believe blockchain provides them with anonymity.
South Korean fears Bitcoin could steer kids to crime
In South Korea, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon has voiced concern that Bitcoin could have a negative effect on the nation’s youth and even pull some of them to the world of crime.
Lee said after emerging from a cabinet meeting:
“There are cases in which young Koreans including students are jumping in to make quick money and virtual currencies are used in illegal activities like drug dealing or multi-level marketing for frauds.”
“This can lead to serious distortion or social pathological phenomena if left unaddressed."