Philippines goes after drug trade in 'dark web'

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 04:11 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2019 04:35 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is training its sights on the illegal drug trade taking place in the so-called "dark web," an official said Monday.

The agency is considering tapping South Korea to train some 20 personnel for the effort. UK-based tech website Tech Advisor defines the dark web, also referred to as the “deep web”, as “a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.”

Big-time drug syndicates have turned to the dark web for their illegal drug purchases since users can complete transactions without being easily identified, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said.

“You just click to order drugs, [and it will] be delivered to your doorsteps," Aquino said. Customer can "order anything from drugs, explosives, porn, IDs, motor vehicle IDs," he said.

Operatives of PDEA are ill-equipped in dealing with "dark web" transactions. Slain suspected party drugs dealer Steve Pasion, transacted illegal drugs from the Netherlands through the dark web, he said.

Last April, PDEA sought the help of the US Drug Enforcement Agency to train Filipino law enforcers in dealing with illegal drug transactions in the dark web.

However, it was South Korea that expressed willingness to work with PDEA. The US government has been expressing misgivings about how the Philippine government is carrying out its war on drugs.