Malaria drugs touted by Trump are available everywhere, fake vaccines hard to find – on the darknet markets.
After a short relaxation, the feared second wave of infection has now begun in many places. And in the US, too, development seems to be accelerating slowly. More than 200,000 people have already died with Covid-19.
But how has trade developed in the darknet markets of the network? The STANDARD has taken a tour through six major darknet trading venues.
Fake vaccinations only in a darknet markets.
The first darknet markets raised serious fears. Here were some offers for an alleged vaccine, which was offered from about 260 euros – to be paid in cryptocurrency. However, almost all of these offers came from the same provider. And it remained the only platform on which vaccines could be found at all.
The administrators of the other exchanges are likely to be a thorn in the side of trading dangerous counterfeits, as they destroy their trustworthiness among customers. And it also potentially raises the attention of the authorities, which recently arrested 179 people who allegedly traded illegal goods on the darknet as part of the international "Operation Disruptor".
Hydroxychloroquine is booming
By far the most popular agents offered in connection with the coronavirus are hydroxychloroquine and its component chloroquine phosphate. This is actually an active ingredient for malaria treatment, which is also being tested as a Covid-19 therapy agent. The drug hit the headlines mainly because Donald Trump publicly touted it, even though previous research into the drug's fitness has yielded mixed results.
Benzodiazepines, psychopharmaceuticals with a high dependency potential, are also to be found again and again, which are used very limited in some countries in the treatment of Covid-19 symptoms.
Main business remains drug trafficking
In addition, common things such as masks and esoteric ones such as hemp-based corona medicine can be discovered on the darknet markets. Overall, the "pandemic products" are a fairly small proportion of the supply. The main business remains the trade in drugs, mainly cannabis, cocaine and synthetic intoxicants such as MDMA (ecstasy).