Welcome to the darknet -the secret under belly of the Internet -that is making access to drugs easier than ever before. Darknet (often called the dark web) can’t be accessed through your regular browers. It works on Tor, a browser that masks location and activity, and has become the web’s secret space for hundreds of drug dealers.
Drug marts like Silk Road 3.0, AlphaBay, Agora Marketplace, Dream Market and Crypto Market promise hassle-free delivery of cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, opium, charas, to name a few, right at your doorstep.
Malana Cream, anyone?
It may be difficult to buy Malana Cream in Kullu’s Malana village -where the cannabis is produced -but not here. Just get access to a darknet drug market by downloading an encrypted browser, type Malana Cream into the search box, press `enter’, and listings mentioning rates, quality and quantity of charas along with pictures of the `product’ start popping up.
On Silk Road, “5 gram traditional Malana hash“ is available for $75 and 50gm for $300. On AlphaBay, “5 gram hand-rubbed Indian Charas from Malana village, locally known as Cream“ can be bought for $55.
Just like any online retail store, one can go through user reviews or check the `trust level’ of a vendor on a scale of 1 to 5. This highly encrypted world ensures you leave no digital footprints for investigating agencies.Messages can’t last longer than a month. Payments are made through bitcoin, a digital currency that doesn’t need a third party like a bank or government. But for deliveries, ven dors use the most outdat ed (and the most reliable) means to transport drugs -snail mail.
According to the UN’s lat est World Drug Report, which notes that the use of online marketplaces has “increased in recent years“, cannabis contin ues to be the most cultivated, produced, trafficked and con sumed drug worldwide. It is the third highest-selling drug, after Ecstasy and LSD, on the darknet.
From India, Malana Cream is posted to destinations in France, Australia, America, Italy and Germany.
Many depressants, opioids, stimulants and antidepressants are also available online. Scores of `vendors’ registered on HANSA, Oasis, Valhalla, AlphaBay , Apple Market and Dream Market-marketplaces that this reporter entered -claimed their `products’ are 100% pure, lab-tested and manufactured in pharmaceutical factories in India.
On Dream Market, dealer `rxchemist’ claims “there are no middlemen“ as the quality is top-class and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved; `medsguru’ claims all his products are from “legit Indian pharma.“
For shipping within India, 10gm of ketamine costs $230 (Rs 15,504), 10 blots of LSD $280 (Rs 18,875), 0.5gm Indian crystal meth $28.60 (Rs 1,928), 100 tablets of oxycodone $800 (Rs 53,928) and 100mg tramadol $18 (Rs 1,213). India seems to be the biggest source of ketamine, a veterinary anaesthetic that is often abused as a party drug. Most vendors claim their ketamine is sourced from pharma factories here.
Some drug dealers also seem to believe they can’t be touched. One vendor, `Citra666′, on AlphaBay gives away his location in his profile intro, saying he ships LSD blotters from Goa.
And they may not be wrong. According to Sastry Tumuluri, a cybersecurity expert, it’s not easy. “Busting such operations is a very difficult, highly technological and costly affair so the police must up their cyber proficiency levels. But presently, criminals on the darknet are out of the reach of the police, at least in India,“ he says.
No one knows this better than darknet’s drug dealers, who brag about “100% success rate“ in delivering dope.