Five young persons across the globe have been recently accused of buying or selling drugs in the dark web using the digital currency bitcoin. Some of them face up to 20 years in prison.

Nicola Squarzon is 21 years old, and his friend Alberto Bedin is one year older. They live in small towns in Veneto, north-eastern Italy. They used bitcoin to buy half a kilo of marijuana outside Europe. However, their purchase was tracked by the authorities because of the “traces they have left in the web”, says Veneto Vox. An anti-drug operation by Italian law enforcement led to arrest of the two youngsters. Squarzon claimed that marijuana was bought for personal use, Bedin chose not to answer. Under home arrest initially, they are now assigned to residence in their native towns.

Zhe Wang and Kevin Szura are both 20. They are accused by the Western District of New York of various crimes including money laundering and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. According to the Department of Justice, during the last year they purchased bitcoins to the amount of more than $74,000. The digital currency was allegedly used to buy Xanax pills and other drugs from Canada through the dark web. Later the substances were redistributed and US dollars paid by their customers were used to buy more bitcoin. The maximum possible sentence for Wang and Szura is 20 years in prison. 

An unnamed Ukrainian drug dealer is only 17. A schoolboy in Zaporizhia, Eastern Ukraine is accused of being a heroin, cocaine and methadone dealer. He reportedly sent drugs to four other Ukrainian cities including the national capital Kyiv. According to a Ukrainian news outlet, investigators are currently trying to track his suppliers and his customers. According to Ukrainian laws, the teenager faces up to twelve years in prison.


Alexey Tereshchenko