Two Croatians Arrested for Ordering Almost Two Kilograms of Drugs Online

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  22 Dec 2018   0

An elderly grandparent and one of his alleged grandchildren ordered a massive amount of amphetamine and ecstasy from a dark web marketplace, authorities in Croatia announced in early December. The family members had allegedly planned to resell the drugs throughout the country.

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Authorities in Bjelovar, Croatia arrested a 75-year-old grandparent and his 20-year-old grandchild for serious drug offences. The State Attorney’s Office in Bjelovar has charged both suspected drug dealers with one count of the unauthorized production and trafficking of illegal substances. The Bjelovar-Bilogora police issued an official announcement on December 5 but revealed very little information about the suspects and the roles played by the family members. News outlets in Croatia have received unofficial confirmation that the police initially arrested both the grandfather and grandmother in addition to their grandson. Some news outlets have published conflicting reports regarding the identity of the younger suspect. Some reports have referred to the 20-year-old as the grandson and others have referred to the 20-year-old as the granddaughter. Reporters stated that the reports, in many cases, were confirmed by unofficial sources.

Despite the ambiguous nature of the official announcement from Croatian authorities, reporters quickly highlighted two minorly historic elements of the case: that the bust was Bjelovar’s first dark web drug case and the largest drug case ever recorded in Bjelovar. According to the Bjelovar police, the suspected drug dealers had ordered a package filled with more than one kilogram of drugs. It allegedly contained 1,534 grams of amphetamine and another 510 grams of ecstasy. Although the police recorded a weight for the ecstasy, they also recorded another measurement: 1,023 ecstasy pills. MDMA, the primary ingredient in the majority of ecstasy pills, is usually found in either powder or crystal form. Ecstasy, however, is almost exclusively in pill form. Weighing ecstasy often results in an inaccurate measurement of the active ingredient due to the other ingredients in ecstasy pills. Pills, since active ingredients are rarely capable of holding themselves together, consist of fillers and binders. Ecstasy pills also frequently contain other active ingredients that add to the experience or function as cutting agents. It is unclear why the police reported and recorded the weight of the ecstasy pills.

According to the announcement, law enforcement arrested the 75-year-old grandparent and 20-year-old grandson at the Bjelovar Post Office after they had arrived to pick up the package of amphetamine and ecstasy. The police waited until the duo had picked up the package before making the arrests and seizing the package. Investigators then placed both suspects in custody at a nearby detention center. After the arrest, Bjelovar authorities executed a search warrant at the apartment owned or rented by the 75-year-old Croatian citizen. At the apartment, the police found cell phones, laptops, and notebooks. The laptops, according to the police, served as the platform on which the suspects had ordered drugs from the dark web. The phones allegedly contained records linking one or both of the suspects to illicit drug transactions throughout Croatia. The notebook allegedly contained related evidence of an unknown variety.

At the detention center, the police interrogated both suspected drug dealers. The information learned during the questioning led to the release of the 75-year-old. The State Attorney’s Office in Bjelovar, however, did not drop the elderly suspect’s drug charges after law enforcement had allowed the defendant’s release from police custody. Other reports suggest that another suspect—possibly another grandparent—willingly answered questions at the police station after the two landed in jail. The police, as of December 8, have not learned whether or not the 75-year-old was a so-called “collateral victim” of the younger suspect’s criminal activities. Some suspect that the young suspect had ordered the drugs under the name of one of his grandparents in an effort to avoid detection.

Croatian law enforcement learned of the case after INTERPOL had notified them of a package of drugs headed towards an address in Bjelovar. A vendor in Germany had shipped the package to the Croatian suspects and international authorities have been monitoring the vendor’s movement. No further information has been revealed at this point.

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