The hacks and fraudulent activities seem to happen in tandem with the developments and updates from the world of cryptocurrencies. On April 3, Superior Court Justice of Canada Jane Kelly ordered that 281.41 Bitcoin [BTC] worth $1.9 million be forfeited to the Ministry of Attorney General after it was proven that Mathew Phan used the cryptoverse for nefarious purposes. Phan, who was a Canada based drug dealer used Bitcoin to fund his pipeline of drugs and arsenal of guns.
During the verdict, Justice Jane Smith had stated:
“There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Mr. Phan was using the dark markets to purchase illegal items such as firearms and silencers. It is clear from the evidence found during searches, particularly of his condominium unit, that he was conducting a large sales operation of illegal narcotics.”
She also added:
“It is a reasonable inference to draw that payment for such illegal narcotics sales was made using Bitcoin that was found in the digital wallet on Mr. Phan’s computer using the online marketplaces Evolution and Agora, which are used to buy and sell contraband.”
Mathew Phan was in the news earlier when he defended the court’s allegations by stating that he should be allowed to keep the fortune because he had made it off Bitcoin trading. At the time, the Mathew Phan case was the first Bitcoin seizure crime that had occurred in Canada. Back in December 2018, Phan had admitted to owning illegal substances like cocaine, PCP and ketamine, a supply provided by his stint on the dark web.
The dark web has been a playground for illegal activities for a long time and with the introduction of the cryptocurrencies, it has become even more prevalent. In November 2018, Gal Vallerius aka Oxymonster was sentenced to 20 years in prison for money laundering, conspiracy, and distributing drugs. A statement during the trial said:
“By virtue of the size and scope of the marketplace … it was the intent of the operators and vendors on Dream Market to distribute more than 450 kilos of cocaine, 90 kilos of heroin and 45 kilos of methamphetamine.”
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