OFFICERS of the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) are interviewing four people on suspicion of involvement in the Silk Road website market for illegal drugs and other contraband.
The NCA launched just yesterday and came out swinging, talking about how it would take down organised online crime. It has started well, apparently, and is already investigating four suspects.
The NCA trotted out a "nowhere to hide" message, and reminded its targets that "anonymous online environments" are one of its priorities.
"These arrests send a clear message to criminals; the hidden internet isn't hidden and your anonymous activity isn't anonymous. We know where you are, what you are doing and we will catch you. It is impossible for criminals to completely erase their digital footprint. No matter how technology-savvy the offender, they will always make mistakes and this brings law enforcement closer to them," said NCA director general Keith Bristow.
"These so called hidden or anonymous online environments are a key priority for the National Crime Agency. Using the expertise of over 4,000 officers and the latest technology, we will arrest suspects and disrupt and prevent their illegal activity to protect the public. These latest arrests are just the start; there are many more to come."
The Silk Road was the underground drug market that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down last week. The NCA reckons that its four suspects, who were picked up with the assistance of US counterparts, were deeply involved in the Silk Road trade.
The Silk Road suspects include one man from Devon, who in his early 50s, and three 20-somethings from Manchester.
"This is only the start of a wider campaign for the NCA to tackle the 'dark' or 'deep' web and the criminals exploiting it. These criminal areas of the internet aren't just selling drugs; it's where fraud takes place, where the trafficking of people and goods is discussed, where child abuse images are exchanged and firearms are traded," added Andy Archibald, the head of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU).
"Stopping this element of serious and organised crime will go a long way to protecting the public." µ