Authorities in Russia arrested a man for allegedly orchestrating murders through a platform on the darkweb.
The Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia arrested Sergei Magdanov, 38, resident of Izhevsk in Russia, in connection with at least two murders, one attempted murder, and trafficking weapons.
The investigation began in 2020 after Russian police launched an investigation into the murder of two alleged drug dealers in the Vladimir region. During the investigation, the police arrested alleged accomplices who provided logistical support to the parties responsible for the murders. In part, the accomplices followed the victims and provided the alleged hitman with the locations of the victims.
At some point, Russian authorities identified an onion service where suspects had allegedly ordered the murders. The operator of the site accepted cryptocurrency and fiat as payment. The announcement from Russian authorities did not reveal information about the identification of the site operator.
The investigators concluded that Magdanov orchestrated the murders through the site, assisted the actual hitmen by providing weapons and ammunition, and allegedly sold weapons too.
On September 9, 2021, the police executed search warrants at the suspect’s home and his safe house. The searches led to the seizure of mobile phones, computers, more than one thousand SIM cards, more than 500 bank cards, and large amounts of cash.
Magdanov is in police custody and the investigation into his role in the murders is ongoing.
Also, it appears we can no longer write that murder-for-hire sites are categorically scams.