Swedish largest narcotics marketplace Flugsvamp 2.0 (en. toadstool) took a big hit with more than 450.000 cryptocurrency wallet addresses recorded, clustered and the main suspect brought into custody. As the court trial is expected to begin by March 2nd 2022 thousands of mostly Swedish identified buyers are awaiting investigation and prosecution.
The hidden part of the internet, commonly referred to as the darknet has long been home to websites hosting illicit content and markets offering prohibited goods for sale. The Swedish Narcotics Platforms ‘Flugsvamp 2.0’ has dominated the national online drug market. To shut it down the Swedish Police had to receive support from more than 79 locations, 25 countries and at least 14 different server providers. This help included comprehensive support from both national as well international Law Enforcement Agencie, Fintechs and technological partners which provided necessary insights to proceed further with the investigation.
We have received all of the support from both Cryptocurrency Exchange Platforms, Blockchain Analysis Tools companies as well as other players in the ecosystem both national and international that we have wished for during this very complex and multilayered investigationTove Kullberg, National Unit Against Organised Crime, Swedish Prosecution Authority
With nearly 50 000 Bitcoins (ca. 35M Euro) collected with the help of the platform a 27 years old suspect who is a Swedish Tax Resident is suspected to be pulling the strings and administering the platform. Taking in a commission of three percent from each narcotics transaction resulted in earning nearly 1814 BTC (ca 17M Euro). Although denying charges, he has already been in custody and four connected individuals have already been facing indictment. Besides being charged with administering several drug-platforms, that defined themselves as Swedish- Ebay-For-Drugs, the suspect faced charges with acquiring and transferring nearly six kilograms of cannabis on at least 915 different occasions. Additionally besides the criminal charges the suspect is expected to return 1814 Bitcoins to the Swedish state of which a small portion of assets has already been seized. Bringing in the administrator is just the beginning of the investigators, which includes more than 600 sellers that have distributed at least 325 000 narcotic products. As the police views today’s press conference as an initial part of a massive investigation which is yet to come across Sweden. Releasing more than 450.000 connected cryptocurrency wallet addresses will result in an extensive operational effort keeping in mind that Sweden has as little as 10 million inhabitants and a moderate size of experienced investigators understanding the complexity of blockchain analysis.
I must say that we even have been surprised about the amount of support that we have received from different parts of the ecosystem as nobody in those 79 locations and 25 countries refused to provide information. With the support and the technology that we have as of today the darknet stopped to be a lawless place and we are definitely better prepared to take on dark web portals that will follow Flugsvamp 2.0Björn Eriksson, Detective Inspector, National Operations Department of the Swedish Police
As the majority of the servers supporting the platform have been allocated in Germany. The speed of the investigation has increased after finding an illegal server hall in a former bunker together with the German Police as of September 2019.
As the evidence has been nearly purely digital we had to step up the game and modify the way we have been investigating drug-related crimes to a completely new form. With the help of technological solutions we have been able to cluster transactions and connect different encrypted cryptocurrency wallets to particular individuals’Tove Kullberg, National Unit Against Organised Crime, Swedish Prosecution Authority
Neither the prosecutor or the police, desired to comment on ongoing investigations connected with so called ‘Flugsvamp 3.0’ that brands itself as a successor. While this new platform will gain attention, so will the Darkweb-Games between Law Enforcement and Dark Web restart again. At least today due to the ecosystem effort led by Swedish Law Enforcement, the score has been 1:0 against the dark side.