Indian National Sentenced to 5 Years for Dark Web Drug Trafficking

Singh, hailing from Haldwani, was arrested in London in April 2019 at the request of the United States authorities….

An Indian national, Banmeet Singh, aged 40, has been sentenced to five years in prison for operating a sophisticated drug trafficking operation on dark web marketplaces and ordered to forfeit approximately USD 150 million in illicit proceeds.

Singh, hailing from Haldwani, was arrested in London in April 2019 at the request of the United States authorities. Following extradition to the US in March 2023, he pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering in January.

Court documents and statements presented in court, further, revealed that Singh established vendor marketing sites on prominent dark web platforms like Silk Road, Alpha Bay, Hansa and several others, with the aim to peddle controlled substances including fentanyl, LSD, ecstasy, Xanax, ketamine, and tramadol.

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Customers used cryptocurrency to purchase drugs from Singh’s vendor sites. Subsequently, Singh personally arranged or oversaw the shipment of these drugs from Europe to the United States via various shipping services.

Between 2012 and July 2017, Singh managed at least eight distribution cells within the US, spanning locations such as Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, and Washington. These distribution cells received the drug shipments from Singh, repackaged them, and dispatched them to destinations across all 50 states, as well as to Canada, England, Ireland, Jamaica, Scotland, and the US Virgin Islands.

The Department of Justice disclosed that Singh’s drug enterprise facilitated the transportation of hundreds of kilograms of controlled substances throughout the United States and contributed to a multimillion-dollar drug empire. The enterprise laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds through cryptocurrency accounts, accumulating a total value of approximately USD 150 million.

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