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FBI Arrests’ Incognito Market’ Owner for Operating Illegal Narcotic Marketplace

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a 23-year-old individual for engaging in unlawful activities. The FBI claimed that the suspect operated a $100 million dark web narcotics marketplace.

The law enforcers confessed to having engaged in an extensive investigation to trace the crypto transfers made by the suspect uncovered his real identity.

FBI Arrest Dark Web Owner 

The suspect was arrested at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on May 18. The owner of the dark web market, Rui-Siang Lin, nicknamed “Pharaoh,” was arraigned at the Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on May 20.

A statement from the FBI assistant director in charge, James Smith, revealed that Lin has been operating the dark web market, dubbed ‘Incognito Market,’ since 2020. The executive noted that ‘Incognito Market,’ has grown to become one of the largest online platforms for narcotic sales. 

The FBI report demonstrated that the Lin dark web market facilitated the sale of narcotics worth over $100 million. Through the unlawful sale of the narcotic, Lin generated profits translating to millions of dollars, which he used to cater to personal needs.  

The probing noted that the ‘Incognito Market’ is an e-commerce platform centered on Tor web browser. The dark web browser is commonly used by criminals to engage in the buying and selling of drugs such as Cocaine, LSD, Adderall, and MDMA, among others. 

The purchases are made using crypto, such as Bitcoin or Monero, to prevent the transaction from being tracked. To secretly run the ‘Incognito Market,’ Lin used different tactics to support the buying and selling of narcotics.

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In a subsequent report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) noted that the ‘Incognito Market’ requested the potential investors to use its crypto services while buying and selling the narcotics.

Incognito Market Exit Scam

The DOJ noted that Lin’s dark web market offered buyers an escrow service to make transactions fast and reliable. Also, on every transaction, the Incognito Market skimmed 5% to every purchase made. 

Having been in operation for nearly four years, the DOJ noted that the Incognito Market value ranged between $10 million and $30 million. On March 6, the Incognito Market users complained that they could not withdraw their funds from the platform.

In response to the claims, Pharaoh stated that the withdrawal challenges emanated from upgrades to Incognito’s withdrawal system. He explained that the upgrade interfered with the Incognito withdrawal system for several days.

Incognito stated that the initial upgrade phase commanded the servers to work on old data synchronization and new requests. The Incognito users speculated that it was an exit scam after the withdrawal challenge persisted. 

This forced the law enforcers to intervene and assist the Incognito users to recover their funds. The DOJ claimed that Pharaoh used an exit scam to steal customers’ funds. He was charged with four criminal offenses, including money laundering, narcotic conspiracy, running a criminal enterprise, and conspiracy to sell misbranded drugs.

The prosecutors argue that if Lin is found guilty of operating a criminal enterprise, he will receive life imprisonment.  Also, the sale of narcotic charges subjects Pharaoh to life imprisonment.

Dark Web Market Operator Charged with Four Criminal Cases

The DOJ demands Lin’s crypto holdings on Binance and Kraken be confiscated. The prosecutors noted that Lin transferred money from Incognito Market to an unknown centralized crypto exchange registered with Pharaoh’s identity.

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A report from FBI task force officer Mark Rubens revealed that a digital wallet linked to Lin received funds from Incognito Market. These funds were later transferred to an exchange bearing Lin’s name. He noted that Pharaoh had made a minimum of four transfers to the FBI using his crypto wallet to Incognito Market.

These transactions involved the conversion of Bitcoin to Monero (XMR) and deposits to a crypto exchange registered using Lin’s details. After tracing the money transfer, the FBI obtained Lin’s personal information, including their email address, phone number, and Taiwanese driving license. 

The probing team discovered Lin’s details were used to create an account at Namecheap, where funds were regularly received from Pharaoh’s crypto wallet. The funds sent to the Namecheap account were used to acquire a new domain for a website that was used to market Incognito Market product offerings.

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Kimberly Crain

Kimberly Crain is a seasoned crypto trader and writer, offering valuable insights into the digital asset market. With expertise in trading strategies and a passion for blockchain technology, her concise and informative articles empower readers to navigate the evolving world of cryptocurrencies.

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