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At the Criminal Court of Ajaccio, a 39-year-old man from Madeira, Portugal, received a 16 month prison sentence for trafficking narcotics and counterfeit notes on the darknet, one local news outlet reported. Only days prior to the sentencing, the French national judicial police arrested Antonio de Faria, the defendant, as he got off a boat in Porto-Vecchio. He lived on the French island of Corsica, but the court noted that he did not distribute narcotics or counterfeit notes on the island. Instead, he traveled to the continent to distribute his products.
According to the investigators, the 39-year-old started importing various illegal drugs and counterfeit currency in the summer “of last year.” Given that the arrest occurred in January 2018, the man likely only sold for roughly six months, give or take. The investigators did not reveal how long they had been investigating the defendant, but based on the way the investigation quickly became an arrest, one can safely assume that the investigation started after the judicial police intercepted a package of counterfeit notes that had shipped from the Netherlands.
“[The package contained] fake bills from the Netherlands, so fake that Monopoly money is certainly more well done. But well done or not, it is still enough to characterize the offense,” the court heard.
And that package interception also took place in the recent past. One unusual element, though, is how quickly the judicial police went from making an arrest to building a solid case against Antonio de Faria. Not only did they do the obvious and arrest him for buying counterfeit currency, but they also charged him for selling drugs and counterfeit notes for six months. One news outlet reported that the evidence the judicial police had on their side was “not virtual” evidence; the authorities had allegedly obtained a physical document that listed every transaction the dealer made during the last six months.
The police could have seized this document during a search of the man’s house. This would not be the first case where a dealer kept records that the authorities later used against both the dealer and the dealer’s customers. Every vendor, for the most part, keeps a temporary record in one way or another. Many keep tracking numbers for a reasonable amount of time—without checking them—in order to use them if the buyer opens a dispute regarding the package’s arrival. Some, like Shiny Flakes, kept detailed spreadsheets with better order statuses than the marketplaces themselves. There is no telling how the judicial police obtained the list they claimed to have accessed.
Mr. Michal Solinsky, the defendant’s attorney, said that his client turned to the darknet after going through a painful breakup. The man’s love life seemed unimportant to the court, for several reasons, including the lack of relevance. The Criminal Court of Ajaccio sentenced Antonio de Faria to 16 months in prison for importing drugs and counterfeit notes from the darknet and reselling them locally.