Man Arrested in Massive Dark Web Scheme

Man Arrested in Massive Dark Web Scheme

( – A young Taiwanese man is in jail and facing serious charges over his alleged role in a massive dark web drug trade.

Rui-Siang Lin, 23, who also goes by the name “Pharoah” online, was taken into custody in New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on May 18. He is accused of running a dark website called “Incognito Market,” which was used to traffic dangerous narcotics into the US. Attorney General Merrick Garland referred to him as the site’s “architect” while accusing him of funneling deadly, addictive substances throughout the US and around the world.

The site facilitated easy online transactions for controlled substances. Users operated anonymously to conceal their identities. They were able to maintain anonymity through the use of cryptocurrency transactions. It was used to send massive volumes of dangerous drugs, including meth and cocaine, since opening in 2020. The site quickly grew to become one of the world’s biggest digital marketplaces for illegal drugs. It also facilitated the transfer of elicit prescription medication. The site was shut down by authorities in March.

The indictment notes that Incognito Market had many of the same characteristics common in legitimate e-commerce platforms, including marketing efforts, a splash page, online guides, and even a customer service department. Lin allegedly received $5 royalties for each purchase made through the site, eventually amounting to several million dollars.

The narcotics conspiracy charges filed against him could lead to a life sentence if he is convicted.

Jeff Liu, who serves as a spokesperson for Taipei’s foreign ministry, said Lin had also been working for the Taiwanese government at its embassy in St. Lucia, a small nation in the eastern Caribbean. It’s among the few allies Taiwan has. He’d applied for a job working for the technical corps instead of mandatory military service. He was said to have “behaved normally.”

Lin was scheduled to visit Singapore when agents placed him under arrest at the airport. Taiwan officials said they’re monitoring the situation closely.

An undercover agent began using the site in November 2023. They attempted to purchase oxycodone, but testing revealed the substance was actually fentanyl.

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