Exploring India’s Emerging Online Marketplaces


Inside India’s Murky Dark Web Drug Market: An Excerpt from ‘Crypto Crimes’ by Mitali Mukherjee

The dark web has become a thriving marketplace for illegal activities, with India emerging as a key player in this underground world. According to a Statista survey, India accounts for 26% of the global population using the dark web, making it the highest user worldwide. The anonymity and ease of access provided by the dark web have fueled the growth of various illicit markets, including the drug trade.

In a recent book excerpt titled ‘Crypto Crimes: Inside India’s Best-Kept Secret’ by Mitali Mukherjee, the author sheds light on the murky world of the dark web in India. The book reveals how the drug market thrives on the dark web, with an increasing number of people turning to online marketplaces to purchase drugs. The Global Drug Survey found that 15% of drug users obtained their drugs from dark web marketplaces in 2020, marking a significant increase since 2014.

The process of buying drugs on the dark web involves selecting a website with a good reputation, creating an account, and making payments in cryptocurrency. The availability of a wide range of drugs, from purple hash to MDMA, has attracted buyers from all walks of life. The players in India, known as ‘Techies’, are adept at concealing their operations and evading law enforcement.

One notable arrest mentioned in the book is that of Dipu Singh, a twenty-one-year-old student from Lucknow who became India’s first narcotics vendor on the dark web to be caught. Singh’s operation involved shipping drugs to countries like the US and the UK using the dark web and cryptocurrency. Despite his arrest, experts believe that small vendors like Singh represent only a fraction of the booming global drug market, with larger players constantly adapting to evade authorities.

The dark web continues to pose a challenge for law enforcement agencies worldwide, as criminals leverage technology to conduct illegal activities with impunity. As the battle between authorities and dark web operators rages on, the future of online illicit markets remains uncertain.

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