Half a dozen people sit around a lounge room in a funky inner-Melbourne apartment, sipping on beer and wine, each tapping away at a laptop. They’re all on their favourite website competing with people from around the world. But this is no geek-fest full of pasty, anti-social nerdlings who can only relate to pixels on a screen, nor is it a virtual gambling den with members playing poker games across cyberspace.
‘Woo hoo!’ cries a young man in his late 20s. ‘Seventy-five dollar voucher!’ The others are happy about his good fortune and eager to know what he’s going to spend it on. He scans the goods for sale, searching for the best value.
‘I think I’ll get a gram of MDMA from Germany.’
The others nod in approval; that will make eight strong ecstasy capsules, enough to see him through three weekends of partying. They all go back to their computers, calculating purchases and hoping they’ll win their own prize.
Every seven minutes, a lucky user somewhere in the world receives a private message telling them they’ve won anything from $20 to a Macbook Air. Not that it really matters if they win; like pretty much everything these days, the purchases made online are about a quarter of the price they would be expected to pay in a face-to-face transaction in Australia. They win regardless.
I’m baffled that a site like this can continue without the authorities shutting it down. Apparently there has only been one conviction so far – from what I’ve read – in which the Australian authorities intercepted a package and raided a house in which they found passwords and user name to the website along with packages of drugs. Other than that they seem powerless. They dealers are apparently sophisticated enough that they can conceal packages from most border controls.
I have to agree thou – it looks like a better system that is in place now. Which implies risking your safety meeting a dodgy dealer down some back alley. It would also cut down on a lot of the gangland killings as dealers are competing with each other online and will have to come up with a clean product. Through Silk Road you buy directly from the supplier cutting out the middle man. I can out on average about half a dozen middle men. Users also have the option to read reviews of the product which would give a better idea of what they are buying and if it was highly contaminated / mixed with dangerous substances such as rat poison.
So what do you think?
Mods notes that I have absolutely no affiliation with this website. I don’t do drugs and completely condemn the use of illegal drugs. It just amazed me that a site like this exists.
Mod Note: Please don't quote full articles.