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Police crack down on KU student’s illegal drugs website

By River Reporter Feb 21, 2013

Border cops are closing in on an anonymous website where KU students are buying illegal drugs.

Cerys Traylor

The authorities are taking a hard line, saying that they will arrest people who get their drug fix on the internet.

The site, Silk Road, allows Kingston students to purchase drugs and have them delivered to their door, The River can reveal.

One graduate from Kingston who uses the site, Greg, 24, said: “The site is only accessible through an encrypted browser that ‘bounces’ your computer’s location around the world, and what’s even more mental is that [the encryption system] was designed by the US Navy!”

“We don’t use ‘real’ money.”

The website does not use standard online payment systems, meaning that you cannot be traced through your card details.

Greg added: “We don’t use ‘real’ money. We use bitcoins.”

Bitcoins are a type of digital currency that are virtually untraceable – each deposit is given a 30 digit ‘address’ and then sent through ‘wallet’ programs that do not record any information about the transaction other than the time and the amount deposited.

It takes around 10 minutes to download the required software and to create an account. Users are then able to buy goods including drugs, forgeries, hackers’ guides and
drug paraphernalia.

The exchange rate of bitcoins fluctuates daily. One bitcoin is currently worth approximately £7, and for 2 bitcoins (£14), it is possible to purchase 1.5g of cannabis that would cost £20 at ‘street’ value.

Illegal drugs available in any quantity

Cannabis, LSD, cocaine, heroin, meth, GHB (a date rape drug), bulk cigarettes and prescription  drugs such as Prozac are available in any quantity.

James, a 26-year-old Kingston Hill student, decides to take this risk on a regular basis.

“I can buy a 20g bag of weed that comes from South Africa for £160 which I then sell at £30 per 2g. Of course I’m worried that a package might get seized, but that’s why I buy in smaller amounts so if anything did happen, I could claim it was for personal use.”

Criminal charges

Claiming drugs that are for personal use carries a less severe criminal charge than being charged with intent to supply illegal substances in large quantities.

However, if a package addressed to you is seized and found to contain drugs, the Serious Organised Crime Agency or the police may undergo a ‘controlled delivery’ to an address, and seek to arrest whoever accepts the package on suspicion of involvement in the importation of illegal drugs.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: “The Border Force is at the forefront of the fight to stop drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants entering the UK and our officers are on constant alert to keep them out of the country. Our operations include intelligence-led examination of packages and letters sent through the postal system.” 

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