Gang led by techie selling drugs on dark web busted by STF in Lucknow


LUCKNOW: In a late-night operation on Tuesday, the Special Task Force (STF) successfully busted a criminal gang involved in the illicit sale of prohibited drugs, medicines, and psychotropic substances.

The gang, led by Salman Hashmi, a software engineer and law graduate from Aishbagh in Bazaarkhala, operated by exploiting customer data sourced from the dark web, targeting both Indian nationals and individuals from other countries. His accomplice, Al Zaid from Dubagga, aided him in carrying out their illegal activities.

The STF raid took place at Abidi Apartment in Golaganj, located in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. The operation resulted in the seizure of significant evidence, including 370 strips of drugs and medicines, a laptop, seven ATM cards, four mobile phones, Aadhaar cards, various documents, a scooty, and over Rs 1500 in cash, all belonging to the arrested individuals.

This successful crackdown marks a significant achievement in the ongoing efforts to combat illegal drug trade and protect the well-being of citizens. The STF remains committed to maintaining law and order, ensuring the safety of the public, and taking stringent action against those involved in such criminal activities.

Deputy SP, STF, Deepak Kumar, said that Salman was the gang leader and he was running the drug cartel from the flat at the Abidi Apartment for a long time.

“A team of STF was assigned the task to work on the case and nab the culprits. The initial investigation led the probe needle to turn to Salman and the team members started keeping a tab on Salman,” the police said.


Singh said the team was tipped off about Salman’s presence at the flat of Abidi Apartment and a team swooped down there and nabbed Salman and his aide.

In his confession, Salman said he was running the racket which was dealing in prohibited drugs in the international market. He said he had procured the data from the darkweb net and used to call them though whatsApp. On getting orders for drugs, they used to send the same to the addresses of the customers and charge the money through bitcoin or e-wallets. He said he had a long list of customers and he had added all the customers to a group he had formed on Whatsapp, said DySP Singh.

The miscreants said he used to sell the prohibited drugs stealthily and bypassing the security checks. “We are further working on the case,” he said.


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