Eastern Region Special Operations Unit takes down industrial-scale drugs websites
Two online marketplaces openly advertising drugs to UK buyers have been taken down following an international law enforcement operation led by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
The websites, linked to a group called ‘Weedzy’, are thought to have been used to sell thousands of orders of class B drugs, including various types of cannabis, to clients all over the UK.
Users could order the substances and select their preferred type and quantity, before purchasing the items using a credit card or cryptocurrency. The packages were then distributed through the postal system.
However, a package containing drugs sent to a Cambridgeshire address was intercepted in April 2020 and an investigation was launched by ERSOU’s Dark Web Intelligence, Collection and Exploitation (DICE) team.
The servers linked to the Weedzy websites were seized and the sites removed. Investigators will now work their way through the data held on the servers.
Detective Inspector Ian Kirby, from ERSOU’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The sites involved operated in a very similar way to a typical shopping website, even to the extent that they offered discounts for bulk orders. Their removal is a huge step in stopping the illegal operations of this group and follows months of work both in the UK and by colleagues abroad.’
He said that investigators ‘work tirelessly to tackle online marketplaces such as these, both on the clear net and dark web, to ensure illegal goods don’t make it into our communities.’
‘There’s no doubt that those involved in this group have made significant sums of money and we are progressing a number of lines of enquiry relating to those concerned.’
No arrests have been made, with investigators continuing to progress a number of lines of enquiry both in the UK and abroad.