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Darknet Drug Dealer ‘Pharaoh’ Accused of Facilitating $100M in Crypto Sales Arrested in New York

Taiwanese national and dark web drug dealer Rui-Siang Lin, ‘Pharaoh’, who allegedly made more than $100 million in cryptocurrency sales of illegal narcotics, has been arrested by U.S. authorities.

Lin used the identity “Pharoah” to operate the online “Incognito Market” for nearly four years and was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Saturday. Lin allegedly sold illegal narcotics including deadly fentanyl to customers around the world, said the U.S. attorney’s office in a statement.

To capture Lin successfully, U.S. authorities and FBI worked with the El Dorado Task Force’s Darkweb and Cryptocurrency Task Force using cutting-edge techniques targeting savvy criminals.

Charges Against the Pharoah

According to the statement, Lin is being charged with one count of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. One count of narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.

One count of money laundering, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to sell adulterated and misbranded medication, which carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison.

“As alleged, Rui-Siang Lin operated a sophisticated and dangerous online narcotics marketplace through which he profited millions of dollars at the community’s expense,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, in the press release.

“The dedicated prosecutors from the Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will pursue criminal actors regardless of whether they operate on street corners or in the dark corners of the internet.  The so-called ‘dark web’ is not a safe haven for those who seek to break the law,” added Williams.

Incognito Market Operated for Four Years

‘Pharaoh’ allegedly operated the Incognito Market, which the FBI describes as “one of the largest online platforms for narcotics sales” for almost four years. The platform conducted $100 million in illicit narcotics transactions and reaped millions of dollars in personal profits.

Each listing on the Incognito Market was sold by a particular vendor which paid 5% from every transaction to ‘Pharaoh’. This fee then funded Incognito Market’s operations, including paying its employee salaries and for computer servers.

To facilitate the transactions, Incognito Market had its own bank, which allowed its users to deposit cryptocurrencies on the site into their own “bank accounts.”  After a narcotics transaction was completed, crypto from the buyer’s bank account was transferred to the seller’s bank account, less the 5% fee that Incognito collected, said the U.S. authorities.

“Under the promise of anonymity, Lin’s alleged operation offered the purchase of lethal drugs and fraudulent prescription medication on a global scale.  The FBI is committed to targeting and dismantling all criminal enterprises, especially those whose leaders distribute illegal substances on the dark web,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith.

The post Darknet Drug Dealer ‘Pharaoh’ Accused of Facilitating $100M in Crypto Sales Arrested in New York appeared first on Cryptonews.

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