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NCB busts pan-India drug network that used darknet, cryptocurrency; 6 held, largest haul in 2 decades

New Delhi: Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested six people, allegedly part of a pan-India network of drug traffickers that operated through the dark web and confiscated 15,000 LSD drug blots, in one of the agency's biggest ever seizure in the last two decades.
The Narcotics Control Bureau said on Tuesday, describing the seizure as its biggest ever in the last two decades. The agency has also seized 2.5kg of imported marijuana and Rs4.65 lakh in cash at the instance of the suspects. LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is a synthetic chemical based-drug that is categorised as a hallucinogen.
According to NCB Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh, the gang used cryptocurrency and the darknet, adding that the delivery was mostly done through courier services. "All the dealings were virtual," the NCB deputy director general said adding the suspects used private messaging apps to communicate.
The darknet is an encrypted portion of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. it uses the router ToR to escape surveillance. Criminals typically use the advantages of the darknet to conduct illegal business, including trading in malware drugs weapons and criminal services under the guise of anonymity.
Addressing a press briefing here today the NCB Deputy Director General said, "We've arrested six persons in two cases and seized 15,000 blots of LSD drug... The commercial quantity of this drug is 0.1 gram. It's a synthetic drug and is very dangerous. This is the biggest seizure in the last two decades."
The NCB official said the seizure of 15,000 LSD blots is 2,500 times the commercial quantity.
The agency has also seized 2.5kg of imported marijuana and Rs 4.65 lakh in cash, the official said adding that Rs 20 lakh deposited in bank accounts were also seized.
The NCB Deputy DG further said that LSD is quite popular among youth and most of the people involved in this network are educated and young.
"LSD is very easy to smuggle and almost difficult to trace. A commercial quantity is made up of 5 or 6 blots. The NCB has recovered 15,000 blots, and six people have been arrested. There has not been such a huge seizure in the last several years," he said.
The NCB Deputy DG said that in the year 2021, the Karnataka Chief Minister congratulated the police for confiscating 5000 blots in the whole year.
Singh said that the huge network was spread out in many states in the country and also stretched to countries like Poland, Netherlands and the US. The Delhi zonal team busted the cartel with the help of several units.
"India is slowly becoming a big consumer of LSD, which is dangerous. It is a huge network and was spread across Poland, Netherlands, the USA, Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the NCB official said.
He added that apart from 15,000 LSD blots, two and a half kilos of foreign ganja and Rs 20 lakh were also seized.
Earlier in 2021, we had busted 3 dark net sites by arresting 40 accused", he added. (ANI)

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