This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands.
Let’s say you wake up one day and decide to start your own drug lab. You bribe a farmer in a remote area, take over one of his barns, and move inside. Now what?
Go to the dark web, of course, where all questions about the making and selling of drugs are answered. Where it’s perfectly okay to ask, “Can you recommend a step-by-step video tutorial on how to do speed?” “
“Dread” is a dark web platform where you can find information about the many boring things involved in making and selling drugs. Like: If you want to send an envelope that looks little suspicious, do you write the address by hand or go for a printed sticker?
Obviously, it’s impossible to know exactly who is answering these questions – it could be a 12-year-old having fun as far as you know – which is one of the many reasons why it would be unwise to take anything on the forum as good advice. .
Most of the questions on the Dread / DrugManufacture forum are about machines that make ecstasy pills. For example, how do you make pills that have two layers of different colors? The answer is quite simple: “To make two-color pills, you need an industrial pill press. It’s a press with two molds that contain the powder, which are pushed together at the same time,” explains a member of the forum. This inspires the next logical question: how do you get your hands on such a machine?
You can imagine that ordering a pill press online and having it delivered to your doorstep might spark the interest of customs officials. The sub-forum on Dread provides answers. A word of advice: “Don’t order it from the US” because apparently they heavily monitor pill press orders.
It wasn’t that long ago that Reddit was the place to be to talk about drugs on the internet. Since the start of this year, however, talk of buying drugs on the site has become strictly prohibited, so the community has moved to the dark web, where no one cares what you talk about. This transition brought some changes, especially in terms of confidentiality. All shared information is encrypted several times before being sent to the forum servers. Search engines no longer display responses to discussion threads, and the forum checks privacy settings. If they need to be changed, a message is displayed to warn a user: “Be careful, your identity could be exposed.”
Dread has banned the sharing of personal information, according to an article pinned to the top of d / DrugManufacture. Another rule: do not tell anyone where you get the raw materials to make the drug you are preparing. If this information is disclosed, the police could track down the suppliers, “messing everyone up.”
After reading the group rules, users are allowed to ask as many questions as they want.
“A popular way to get cocaine across the border is to turn it into liquid and spray it on your clothes.”
Suppose you have successfully followed the steps outlined for making cocaine; the next question might be how to get him across a border. The most popular recommendation is to turn it into a liquid and spray it on your clothes. But what do you use to liquefy the cocaine? Acetone? No, says a forum member: cocaine does not dissolve in acetone but in water.
While you can ask almost any question that comes to your mind about drug making, smuggling, and selling, offering drugs for money on Dread is prohibited. According to the moderators, Dread is a forum, not a market.
In the d / DarkNetMarkets subgroup, you can find reviews of drug dealers on the dark web. Additionally, a “super seller list” has been created which aims to separate out trustworthy scammers, while detailing the delivery times of specific dealers and the quality of the drugs they sell.
Resellers are not allowed to offer their products for sale on the platform, but there is no rule against advertising their business. The Psych Charm, for example, tries to lure users of the site to their website, where they sell LSD. Or Dutch Drugz, a dealer from the Netherlands who says he first sends drugs like 2C-B, DMT and ketamine to a lab to make sure the quality is up to par, then sells them. at “a low price”.
These advertisements indicate a new Internet trend. Ten years ago, every drug dealer online was selling in a central marketplace: Silk Road. This first crypto market was a lot like Craigslist, but for illegal products. Drugs, guns, passports, all have been bought and sold on the crypto market alone. Those days are over; there are now dozens of such sites, like GammaGoblin, the biggest LSD retailer on the dark web.
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Last year, Dutch police announced a joint undercover operation with other countries, which resulted in the simultaneous shutdown of the two largest crypto markets: Hansa Market and AlphaBay. Within weeks, detectives had secretly taken control of the two digital marketplaces, accessing mostly encrypted conversations. Some users who ordered drugs received a surprise visit from the police, while those who ordered more than they would need for personal use were prosecuted. Law enforcement wanted people to know that even the dark web doesn’t guarantee protection.
Ultimately, however, the result of the police attack was that a few Dutch teenagers got scared and two founders of Hansa Market and AlphaBay were arrested. But online criminals seem to have forgotten everything about this episode already; there are still a lot of people buying and selling drugs on the dark web like nothing has happened.
Disclaimer: We do not recommend that you start making your own medicines, even if you have collected all the relevant advice on a dark web forum.
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