• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Business

Indian national forfeits £118m from sale of drugs in Britain, US

Customers ordered controlled substances from Singh using vendor sites and evaded detection by paying with cryptocurrency

Dealer is holding drug bag and money in his hand on a black background. drug trafficking, crime, addiction and sale, copy space, The concept of buying and selling drugs.

By: Eastern Eye

AN INDIAN national extradited from the UK pleaded guilty to operating a global dark web enterprise to sell “deadly and dangerous drugs to communities across America” and agreed to forfeit approximately $150 million (£118m) in cryptocurrency.

According to court documents, Banmeet Singh – originally from Haldwani in India’s Uttarakhand state, created vendor marketing sites on dark web marketplaces to sell controlled substances, including fentanyl, LSD, ecstasy, Xanax, ketamine and Tramadol, the US Department of Justice said.

Customers ordered controlled substances from Singh using vendor sites and evaded detection by paying with cryptocurrency.

Singh then personally shipped or arranged the shipment of the drugs from Europe to America through US mail or other shipping services, the release said last Friday (26).

“Banmeet Singh and traffickers like him think they can operate anonymously on the dark web and evade prosecution…Today’s guilty plea, which includes forfeiture of approximately US$ 150 million in cryptocurrency, demonstrates that the Justice Department will hold criminals who violate US law accountable no matter how they conceal their activity,” acting assistant attorney general, Nicole M Argentieri, of the justice department’s criminal division said in the press release.

From mid-2012 through July 2017, Singh controlled at least eight distribution cells within the US, including cells located in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, and Washington, among other locations.

Individuals in those distribution cells received drug shipments from overseas which were then re-packaged and re-shipped to locations in all 50 states as well as to Canada, England, Ireland, Jamaica, Scotland and the US Virgin Islands, the release further said.

“Banmeet Singh operated a global dark web enterprise to send fentanyl and other deadly and dangerous drugs to communities across America — in all 50 states — as well as Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean,” said administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Over the course of the conspiracy, Singh moved hundreds of kilograms of controlled substances throughout the US and established a multimillion-dollar drug enterprise which laundered millions of dollars of drug proceeds into cryptocurrency accounts, which ultimately became worth approximately $150 million (£118m).

In April 2019, Singh, 40, was arrested in London, and the US secured his extradition in 2023.

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