As follows from the document, Pavlov is charged with administering the platform, providing hosting services to it, conspiracy to launder money and drug distribution. According to American law enforcement officials, the site was created approximately in 2015 by merging two Russian drug Internet forums.
It is claimed that Pavlov has been providing hosting services for these two platforms since 2013 through the Russian company Promservice. This company, according to American law enforcement, also worked under the name “Four-wheel drive” and 4x4host.ru . According to the prosecution, since November 2015 Promservice has been managing the leased servers of the new site.
The document notes that the accused facilitated the activities of the darknet platform, which allowed it to receive “commissions in the amount of millions of dollars” from illegal sales carried out through the site. It is also alleged that Pavlov allegedly repeatedly received payments in cryptocurrency from wallets associated with the platform.
The indictment also reports that in total, from January 2016 to March 2022, about $5.2 billion was received on cryptocurrency wallets controlled by an illegal platform.
The following data clearly shows what role the platform played in the darknet:
in 2021, the platform accounted for about 80% of cryptocurrency transactions from their total volume in the shadow segment of the Internet, and platform administrators received a commission for each transfer.
As part of the investigation, American law enforcement officers made a control purchase by purchasing five grams of a synthetic drug that was sent by parcel from Ukraine to San Francisco. In addition, the operatives successfully used the money laundering service. A small amount in bitcoins, minus the commission, fell on the crypto wallet to the right addressee.
If the charges against Pavlov are proven in court, in addition to serious punishment, he faces confiscation of property obtained illegally.