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Darknet drug dealer ‘Pharaoh’ arrested in New York

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Taiwanese drug trafficker operating on the dark web, Rui-Siang Lin, known as “Pharaoh”, was arrested by US authorities. Pharaoh reportedly earned over 100 million USD in cryptocurrency sales from illegal narcotics.

Darknet drug dealer 'Pharaoh' arrested in New York

Lin used the identity “Pharaoh” to operate the online “Incognito Market” for nearly four years and ended up arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Saturday. In the meantime, Lin allegedly sold illegal narcotics, including the deadly fentanyl, to customers around the world. This is according to the US attorney’s office in a statement.

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

Accusations against Pharaoh

According to the release, Lin is being charged with involvement in a continuing criminal enterprise, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. Additionally, he suffers:

  • One count of narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a potential maximum sentence of life in prison;
  • One count of money laundering, which carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; It is
  • One count of conspiracy to sell adulterated and misbranded drugs, which carries a potential maximum 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 expense of the community,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in the press release.

“The dedicated prosecutors of the Southern District of New York and our law enforcement partners will pursue criminal actors, 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 seeking to break the law,” Williams added.

Incognito Market has been in operation for four years

According to the allegation, ‘Pharaoh’ operated Incognito Market, which the FBI describes as “one of the largest online platforms for narcotics sales” for nearly four years. In fact, it is estimated that the platform conducted US$100 million in illicit narcotics transactions and made millions of dollars in profits.

A specific vendor purchased each listing on Incognito Market, paying 5% of each transaction to ‘Pharaoh’. This fee then funded Incognito Market’s operations, including paying employee salaries and computer servers.

To facilitate transactions, Incognito Market had its own bank, thus allowing its users to deposit cryptocurrencies on the website into their own “bank accounts”.

After completing a narcotics transaction, cryptocurrencies from the buyer’s bank account were transferred to the seller’s bank account, minus the 5% fee that Incognito charged, U.S. authorities said.

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


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.