Drugs, forged documents or other illegal goods are not only available on marketplaces in the clear or darknet, but also increasingly on the Telegram messenger platform. After months of investigations, the police were able to take over and secure nine such chat groups. To this end, administrators and dealers were identified and their apartments searched.
The chat groups with names such as Silk Road, Marktplatz // Schwarzmarkt, GermanRefundCrew or Cracked Accounts Shop were partially open to the public. There, the illegal goods are said to have been advertised in part with pictures or lists of verified dealers are posted.
“The processing of illegal business between traders and buyers then takes place in separate chats between individual Telegram users,” the public prosecutor in Frankfurt am Main wrote in a press release. A seizure banner was published in the chat groups.
Searches of 28 suspects
There, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, together with the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and other law enforcement authorities, has been investigating the administrators of the chat groups and their dealers since June 2020. A total of 28 suspects were identified and search warrants were subsequently obtained.
“As part of the searches of the suspects’ homes, more than four kilograms of narcotics, eight weapons and 8,000 euros in cash as well as numerous other evidence, in particular smartphones and various data carriers, were seized,” writes the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The accused are suspected of having illegally trafficked narcotics, forged documents, illegally obtained data and other incriminated goods via Telegram.