An Italian has been arrested on suspicion of paying a contract killer to murder his former partner.
According to a Europol alert released on Wednesday, the suspect plunged into the darkest corners of the internet to find a hitman. He ended up finding a site claiming to offer these services on the dark web.
To access the deep web – a sub-layer that is not indexed by regular search engines – you have to use the Tor network. Inside, there is an area known as the “dark web”, where illegal activity takes place.
After making contact with the hitman, the man paid him around 10,000 euros in bitcoins (BTC) to murder his ex-girlfriend.
Europol and Italian police trace the buyer
However, Europol and the Italian police apparently got wind of the project and an “urgent and complex cryptoanalysis” was carried out.
As Europol attempted to unmask the suspect and trace the bitcoin transfer, Italian law enforcement contacted the cryptocurrency exchange on which the suspect’s virtual currency was originally purchased. The company, which has not been named, has provided police with additional information.
“The timely investigation made it possible to prevent the potential victim from being harmed,” Europol said. The European agency, along with various law enforcement agencies, uses a range of tools to monitor and track cryptocurrency transactions suspected of being linked to criminal activity.
Interpol, for example, uses and participated in the development of GraphSense, a blockchain-based analysis tool for address searches and cryptocurrency transfers. The organization is currently working on a new tool, dubbed “Darkweb Monitor”, which will focus on collecting cryptocurrency intelligence for law enforcement purposes.
A prison sentence handed down in the United States
This week, the US Department of Justice announced a 12-year jail term, without parole, for a Missouri resident who attempted to buy dangerous chemicals online. The “highly toxic” compound, purchased through what appeared to be a dark web vendor, was paid for in bitcoin and delivery details were addressed to a miner.
A police crackdown revealed the man may have bought the chemical due to a rupture, with documents found at the home revealing “a desire to see the person who caused the heartache die. “, According to prosecutors.