Dark Web Drug Peddler Gets Nine Years

UK investigators are celebrating after a dark web organized crime gang member was sentenced to nine years behind bars for online drug dealing.

Mubinar Rahman, 26, of South Shields, is believed to have posted 104 packages of MDMA with a combined weight of 157kg to global destinations, including the US, Israel, Norway, Thailand, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

Rahman had previously pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to trafficking drugs and possession of Class A with intent to supply, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

When police arrested him, they searched the flat he emerged from to find 25kg of MDMA, 134kg of amphetamine sulphate, drug packaging equipment, heat-sealing and vacuum packing tools and a label printer and laptop.

Although Rahman declined to answer questions in his custody interview, officers managed to piece together his involvement in an international crime group by analyzing messages sent by members on EncroChat.

The criminal community widely used the encrypted communications platform to arrange drug trades, money laundering and other illegal activities. At its height, it reportedly had 60,000 users globally, 10,000 based in the UK.

However, after law enforcers cracked the system, they were able to start reading these messages and unmasking their senders and recipients. In the UK, Operation Venetic led to the arrest of hundreds of criminals and the seizure of tens of millions in raids since 2020.

As part of this bust, officers arrested two men set to appear in court next month on suspicion of importing and supplying Class A, B and C drugs. Two other members of the gang are on the run.

“Rahman was working for a well-established criminal network which exploited the fast parcel system to move illegal drugs,” explained NCA branch commander Martin Clarke.

“Working with key partners at home such as Border Force, and abroad with Homeland Security Investigations, we have removed a significant amount of Class A from circulation and denied Rahman’s organized crime group the chance to plough profits from those drugs into more criminality.”

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