Thursday, 22 March 2018 05:50

Five UK men jailed for drug sales on dark Web Featured

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Five men who sold drugs on the Silk Road website on the dark Web have been jailed for terms ranging from 15 to seven years, according to the UK's National Crime Agency.

The website was shut down in 2013 by the FBI.

The NCA said in a statement that London residents Basil Assaf, Elliot Hyams, Jaikishen Patel, all 26, and James Roden, 25, were studying at Manchester University when they began trading drugs.

Another man, Joshua Morgan, 28, of Manchester, was involved in packaging drugs for the group.

The NCA said the group started operating in May 2011 and sold drugs including LSD, ecstasy, 2CB, ketamine and valium to buyers around the world using the brand name Ivory.

silkroad big

James Roden, Basil Assaf and Joshua Morgan, three of the five men sentenced in the UK on Wednesday.

The five made 6205 individual sales of ecstasy, a total of 17kg equivalent to 240,000 tablets, through the post.

They netted about US$1.14 million but also received payments in cash or cryptocurrencies, the statement said.

The five were given the following terms on Wednesday by the Manchester Crown Court: Assaf: 15 years and three months; Roden: 12 years; Patel: 11 years and two months; Hyams: 11 years three months; and Morgan: 7 years and two months.

NCA senior operations manager Ian Glover commented: “These five men were interested only in making money. They had no regard whatsoever for the harm these drugs could do to their users.

“The FBI’s excellent work shut the site down in 2013 in a globally significant operation and information they shared with us enabled us to identify, arrest and successfully build this case.

“Sites on the dark net represent a new variation on old crimes and are dealt with accordingly.

“The NCA has the capability and determination to bring offenders targeting the UK to justice regardless of how secure they feel hiding behind technology."

Photo: courtesy NCA

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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