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In the wake of serious crackdown on drug trafficking in Romania, police in the country have conducted hundreds of searches and arrested several suspects. Among those arrested are about 50 college students linked to trading narcotics via the Darknet.
Over 80 people – among them law and medicine students- were arrested in Bucharest after an extensive raid by DIICOT. Police officers from the Directorate for Investigated Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) conducted the raid in the morning with 238 searches in 28 counties.
The exercise was carried out in homes and dormitories in Timisoara and Targu Jiu. Students were also frisked and police discovered several materials that could help investigators in linking them to the darknet trade.
Over 600 officers were deployed according to the head of the DIICOT Daniel Horodniceanu. The resolute action searched about 230 households involved more than 600 police officers. He further disclosed that the plan had been in place for more than a year and that his department was ready to launch more blows to organized crime.
Sources say that searches in Targoviste also aimed at busting controversial Romanian interloper Florin Parjol alias Ghenosu. Ghenosu has been previously put in French custody for several charges including blackmail, pimping, and other cybercrimes.
The majority of students who were targeted in the crackdown were from the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Medicine Studies in Timisoara.
Police believe that the suspects are part of a broader drug trafficking cartel in place since 2016. The investigators further revealed that there has been two similar drug cartel networks linked together. One has been notorious in Timisoara and the other in Targu Jiu and they have been trading and supplying each other with ecstasy pills as well as marijuana.
The suspects are being held in the DIICOT headquarters in Timisoara awaiting charges. They are set to be sued for high risk drug handling without a permit as well as participating in an international drug trafficking scheme.
Some of the group members bought their products from vendors on darknet marketplaces. They often visited the deep web’s vendor shops where they ordered drugs and then later received them through secure deliveries after making payments using cryptocurrencies and bitcoins.
Police arrested several residents in connection with forged signature papers, money laundering, and possession of software. Others were arrested for fraudulent financial transactions, possession of substances with the capability of causing psychoactive effects as well as illegal access to computer systems.
The arrest follows a series of crackdowns on drug consumers and sellers in Romania. In mid-March this year, DIICOT arrested an Arad county resident who had been a regular buyer of drugs on the dark web. He was charged with “attempted importation, transportation and use of high risk-drugs without the [legal] right.”
German’s Frankfurt Airport Custom agency has often been on Romania’s side when it comes to fighting the darknet drug trade in the region. In May 2017, the authorities at the airport intercepted amphetamine weighing 110 grams with an address in Romania. They also did the same to a 50 gram package destined from Germany to Romania. In July the same year, over 200 ecstasy pills were seized at the same airport on their way to Romania.
However, it was not until mid-March that that the Romanian police were able to track down and arrest the suspect. He was busted as he attempted a pick-up of 50 grams amphetamine.
According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the use of illegal drugs in Romania has continued to increase over the last two decades. The report says that cannabis is the most abused drug in the country especially by young adults with the age of 15 to 34 years. Demographics indicate that 2 percent of the Romanian adult population has tried the NPS. The study further states that a fifth of all the drug related emergencies are linked to NPS.