The Austrian authorities have arrested eight people owing to an investigation into a bountiful dark web drug vendor. As per an announcement from the Federal Criminal Police Office, the investigation began back in 2019. One of the dark web vendors had drawn the attention of Grazian law enforcement agencies. The alleged vendor has been identified as “Rasputin”, and had similar other variations of the same pseudonym. Under the alias, the accused has reportedly sold over 100 kilograms of the various drugs or controlled substances. Rasputin has specialized in heroin, cocaine, ecstasy pill and amphetamines. It has also been found that his profits had reportedly reached an amount of seven digits.
The cops were able to arrest an individual who had in his possession various drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines. The detained individual then aided the police with the names of some of his contacts located in Burgenland. Following the information, the police had started an investigation into the suspects in Burgenland where they seized even more amphetamines and cocaine. A trail of evidence to Innsbruck had led them to a 44-year-old suspect who has been arrested for probably operating the “Rasputin” accounts on various darknet marketplaces. The police detained the mastermind quietly back in December 2019, as stated by the police spokesperson. The investigators have come to know that Rasputin had the so-called sub-dealers, who had distributed Rasputin’s narcos on his behalf. While the investigation was on, the Austrian police had rounded up seven suspected co-conspirators.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office in Graz, namely Hansjörg Bacher, has informed that the investigation had involved the severe physical surveillance, telephone surveillance and text analysis.
As the information flows, the co-conspirators had sold the drugs of Rasputin in exchange for the cryptocurrencies. Police have seized amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, marijuana and mephedrone drugs during the repeated searches at the properties that have been owned by Rasputin and as well as his sub-dealers. They had also recovered firearm blanks and false identification documents at Rasputin’s residence. The accused had allegedly equipped his co-conspirators with the firearms for their protection, that includes a Walther CP99 (which is a .177 calibre pellet gun rather than just a genuine firearm) and a 9mm Makarov pistol (likely 9×18mm PM). The authorities have informed that Rasputin had kept his associates in-line with the various forms of coercion, including dangerous threats.
The police have confirmed the completion and closure of the “Operation Rasputin”, however, the trial for the arrested 44-year-old mastermind is still underway. He is now facing the drug trafficking charges, charges stemming from his use of fake or counterfeit IDs and charges to the trafficking of weapons. The court has already sentenced one of the few other co-conspirators to eight years in the prison, while five of his associates will be brought to the court this week.
The Federal Criminal Police Office has been in touch with Europol regarding the case. The Irish and German law enforcement has also shown an interest in the investigation into the “Rasputin Case”.
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