3 Men ran £2m Counterfeit Drugs Operation on Dark Web

Three men from London made £2 million by selling counterfeit drugs from their secret factory on the dark web.

3 Men ran £2m Counterfeit Drugs Operation on Dark Web f

"Their operation was solely for the greed of those involved"

Three men were jailed for a total of 24 years after the Met Police busted a £2 million dark web counterfeit drugs operation.

Allen Valentine, his son Roshan and childhood friend Krunal Patel were producing and selling Benzodiazepines, a type of sedative, which is a Class C drug.

They made at least £2 million in illicit profit.

The trio also had several accounts on different dark web markets and advertised the sale of Xanax, Diazepam and in the past, Valium.

Detectives launched an investigation in January 2022 after receiving intelligence from the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

They discovered that the men were visiting a warehouse unit at Acton Business Centre.

This is where the drugs were produced, packaged and supplied.

Isleworth Crown Court heard the men were operating under the guise of a company called Puzzle Logistics Limited, which was formed in 2016.

3 Men ran £2m Counterfeit Drugs Operation on Dark Web

The men visited the unit daily, often staying for much of the day.

Krunal Patel would frequently leave with large bags and returning up to 15 minutes later without the contents.

Users would purchase the drugs on the dark web, paying in cryptocurrency, which were then posted.

Detectives utilised specialist cyber tactics to prove it was the Valentines’ and Patel who were making and selling the drugs.

The trio converted £2 million from cryptocurrency into sterling. Police have since frozen the accounts.

On August 17, 2022, Patel was arrested near the warehouse. He was in possession of 15 parcels that were labelled for posting to addresses across the UK.

Inside the parcels were tablets imprinted ‘Xanax’ and ‘Teva’, both brand names for licensed medicines within the Benzodiazepine group.

Roshan and Allen Valentine were arrested later that same day.

Inside the warehouse, officers found a concealed laboratory where a large amount of equipment and several containers of chemical substances were discovered, along with numerous crates of pills manufactured on site.

The pills were analysed and found to contain Class C drugs from the Benzodiazepine group including Deschloroetizolam, Flubromazepam, Bromazolam and Flualprazolam.

Allen Valentine told the jury he was a doctor and has qualifications in pharmacy. Enquiries are currently ongoing to verify the claims.

The trio were charged with conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and money laundering offences.

Detective Constable Alex Hawkins, of the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit led the investigation. He said:

“The three men ran a sophisticated, large-scale production of fake pharmaceutical drugs sold on the dark web that appeared to be genuine.

“Their operation was solely for the greed of those involved bearing no concern for the vulnerabilities of those purchasing these drugs.

“Some of the drugs contained completely different chemicals from those which should be in the genuine tablets; some of them are extremely dangerous.

“This is the first seizure of those chemicals in the UK and as such legislation will be amended later this year to include these drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act as Class A substances.

“Stopping the manufacturing of these drugs has removed a significant risk to the public.”

“We would like to thank pharmaceutical companies Viatris and Teva UK for assisting the Met in our investigation and supporting our prosecution against these dangerous and fraudulent men.

“I’d urge anyone to seek medical advice and obtain a prescription for medication through a doctor.

“If you buy from the dark web there is no guarantee what is in the substances, as with this case.”

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance added:

“Our specialist Cyber Crime Unit are experts at infiltrating the sale of illegal items on the dark web.

“We work collaboratively with International Law Enforcement partners to ensure operations like this are stopped in their tracks.”

Allen Valentine, aged 62, of Harrow, was jailed for 11 years.

Roshan Valentine, aged 39, of Northwood, was jailed for seven years.

Krunal Patel, aged 40, of Harrow, was jailed for six years.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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