Cryptocurrencies

A 23-year-old man was arrested in New York and charged with possession

A 23-year-old man has been arrested in New York and charged with owning, operating and profiting from a $100 million dark web drug market after authorities claimed to have traced cryptocurrency transfers that revealed his true identity.

Roy Siang Lin, known online as “Pharaoh,” was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on May 18 and appeared in federal court on Monday, May 20, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a statement.

The FBI Assistant Director in Charge added: “For nearly four years, Rui-Siang Lin allegedly operated the ‘Incognito Market,’ one of the largest online platforms for drug sales, where he conducted $100 million in illicit drug transactions and reaped $100 million in illicit drug transactions.” Millions of dollars in personal profits.” James Smith.

Incognito Market was an onion-based e-commerce platform accessible using the Tor web browser – referred to as the “dark web” or “dark web”.

It allowed users to buy and sell drugs including cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and prescription amphetamines such as Adderall using Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR) as payment methods.

Screenshot of various illicit and prescription drugs for sale on Incognito Market. Source: Incognito Market

The market required buyers and sellers to use its cryptocurrency services so that they could deduct 5% from each purchase and provide an escrow service, the Justice Department claimed.

The DOJ noted that the market was shut down in March of this year, coinciding with a previously reported exit scam that allegedly stole millions of dollars worth of customer bitcoin and XMR.

Lin was charged with engaging in a criminal enterprise, drug conspiracy, conspiracy to sell misbranded drugs, and money laundering.

If convicted, Lane faces a mandatory life sentence for the criminal enterprise charge. The drug conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The Department of Justice ordered the seizure of cryptocurrencies found in Lin’s Binance and Kraken accounts.

The FBI has tracked cryptocurrency transfers

The FBI found Lin and alleged his ties to the dark web in part by tracking cryptocurrency transfers on the incognito market to an unnamed central cryptocurrency exchange account in Lin’s name.

In his testimony, FBI task force officer Mark Robbins said that a cryptocurrency wallet controlled by Lin received funds from an Incognito Market wallet that were then sent to an exchange account in Lin’s name.

Robbins reported at least four transfers tracked by the FBI that allegedly showed Lin’s crypto wallet sending crypto-market-derived bitcoin to a “swap service” to be exchanged for XMR — which was then deposited into a cryptocurrency exchange account that the FBI claimed Lean account.

A 23-Year-Old Man Was Arrested In New York And Charged With Possession
Featured excerpt from Robbins’ affidavit detailing the alleged transfer by Lane. Source: Ministry of Justice

Related: US authorities have busted a $73 million cryptocurrency scam and arrested two people

The exchange provided the FBI with Lin’s Taiwanese driver’s license used to open the account as well as an email address and phone number, Robbins wrote.

The FBI claimed to have linked the email and phone number to a Namecheap account that used funds from the alleged cryptocurrency wallet and Lin’s account to purchase a domain for a site promoting the incognito marketplace.

The filing alleged that deposits into Lin’s cryptocurrency exchange account grew with Incognito Market, from approximately $63,000 in 2021 to approximately $4.2 million over the course of 2023, and the second, unnamed exchange account saw $4.5 million deposited between July and November of last year.

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