During mid-September, the Federal Criminal Police of Germany (BKA) arrested a 24-year-old for trying to buy weapons on the darknet. The BKA posed as a weapons vendor on the darknet and arranged a deal. Police, armed and masked, met the would-be buyer near a crowded supermarket and apprehended him on the spot.
The 24-year-old from the Neuburg-Schrobenhausen district, according to a source, has confessed to all charges.
News outlets have been questioning the prosecutor’s office silence; very little information has been officially made public. Community members themselves are questioning the methods utilized by the BKA. The parking lot where the exchange took place was adjacent to one where mothers were shopping with their children. The prosecutor’s office is silent on this topic for so-called tactical reasons, says a local source.
After apprehending the 24-year-old, case officers conducted a search of the man’s home. They found what was described as a “stately drugstore.” This was in reference to a marijuana grow-operation, the prosecutor’s office disclosed. Other drugs may have been on the premises at the time as well but the few details fail to fully clarify the “drugstore” discovery.
The suspect has been in police custody since the time of his arrest and little has changed until now. According to the Ingolstadt prosecutor’s office, the accused has “in principle” admitted to two charges. He admitted to attempting to purchase firearms and ammunition via the darknet. The second charge he admitted to was the cultivation of cannabis.
Only the first charge was made known to the public; the marijuana-related charges were not disclosed at the time of arrest. The initial disclosure only mentioned the attempted acquisition of a single firearm. It has now been revealed that the offender was looking to buy several firearms and ammunition to match.
However, the spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said that the investigation was not complete. Statements from the suspect are being, at the time of this article, reviewed with regard to their plausibility. No further details have been announced.
Buying weapons on the darknet has always been a questionable move. Certain countries have always been more likely to investigate than others. But in light of the events that transpired this year, Germany is one of these investigative countries. German darknet market buyers and sellers of any illegal product are operating under a microscope. Weapons vendors are operating with a target on their back. And weapon buyers are, as seen in the situation above, often communicating with law enforcement – not a firearm vendor.
More weapons vendors are being arrested by the day and increasingly so after the Munich gunman’s vendor started working with police. The vendor testified against himself, led investigators to a weapons cache in the woods, and decrypted his communication devices. He is working with the BKA to arrest would-be buyers and prior suppliers.