News Designer Drug Gang Busted; Police Recover $5.2 Million in...

Designer Drug Gang Busted; Police Recover $5.2 Million in Cryptocurrencies

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Law enforcement in Spain busted a gang that sold designer drugs on the Dark Web that were primarily bought with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


One of the ways that centralized financial institutions and the media throw FUD at cryptocurrency is by linking it to illegal activities. Such reporting brings on plenty of clicks, and the belief that crypto and drugs, extortion, and murder are linked together gets stronger. However, the reality is that less than 1 percent of all Bitcoin transactions are used for illegal reasons.

Designer Drug Ring Shut Down

Yet, it should be noted that cryptocurrency can be used for bad things in the same way that cold, hard cash is. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are neither intrinsically good or bad; it all depends upon the person using it. The media were quick to announce the busting of a drug ring in Spain due to the fact that there was a Bitcoin connection.

Police in Madrid served some justice on a gang making designer drugs that operated out of the Netherlands and Spain. Law enforcement seized over 100 types of psychoactive drugs (NPS) from two laboratories located in Valencia and Granada. These NPS substances are synthetic in nature, and they mimic the effects of illegal narcotics, such as opioids and amphetamines.

Madrid, Spain

Police also found more than 4.5 million euros ($5.2 million USD) worth of cryptocurrencies. Apparently, the gang sold their wares on the Dark Web (cue ominous music) and asked people to pay in cryptocurrency. It appears that Bitcoin was the preferred payment choice.

News Flash! There Are Crimes Involving Cryptocurrency

While the media loves to portray such a drug bust as something special due to the presence of cryptocurrency, the honest truth is that it’s a given that virtual currencies will be associated with some crimes.

As Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are used as a store of value or for currency, then it makes perfect sense that bad people will look to steal it. Hence, the ongoing hacks of exchanges, such as Coinrail and Bithumb. However, people have been physically robbed due to being known for having cryptocurrency or carrying money to purchase some.

Crime is a part of the human condition, and it isn’t going away any time soon. As such, crime will touch upon cryptocurrency the same way it touches upon fiat currency or precious metals and gems.

It is interesting that many criminals originally used Bitcoin due to its supposed anonymity. However, the fact that transactions are transparent and easily followed on the blockchain has caused criminals to ditch the number one cryptocurrency and focus more on privacy coins, such as Monero. This has been noted by federal law enforcement agencies in the United States, who recently asked Congress to pass legislation targeting anonymous cryptocurrencies.

Do you think the media is playing up the Bitcoin angle over the bust of the designer drug gang? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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