In early February, police arrested a 21-year-old man for trying to buy a gun and several grenades from the darknet. The police arrested him and raised his home where they found other weapons. The officers confiscated the weapons along with several laptops and a cell phone. They reminded the public that the man power no threat to the public
The investigation, police say, took several weeks to carry out. He was “under the delusion” that he was completely anonymous while using the Deep Web. This was not the case, an officer emphasized. True internet—at least darknet—anonymity never existed in the first place, he added. Police watched his online activities for, according to the police, up to the weeks.
After police arrested him, they begin interrogating him and asking what he planned to do with the guns and grenades. In terms of danger and endangerment to the town or himself. They concluded, or at least told the public, that he was not a threat. They announced, however, that they found “gas weapons,” a butterfly knife, and multiple digital devices carrying incriminating information. (The digital devices included both storage mediums and cellphones.)
Officers arrested the 21-year-old before he purchased the weapons and grenades. However, they did notice that he had, in his possession, a firearms license. Officers quickly revoked it. Grenade ownership is not listed under possible reasons for a firearms license.
The weapons act or European Firearms Directive enforces strict guidelines regarding weapon ownership. Under the Netherland’s strict variations of the directive, grenade ownership is illegal. For members of the public at least. Only law enforcement is allowed to carry weaponry. The public can own weapons but they must be for, like many other countries, hunting or sport.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide explained why self defense failed as a valid argument (assuming he intended the grenade and weapons for shit defense). RNW:
“Self defence is not regarded as a valid argument for owning a gun, and only the police are allowed to carry a weapon. The main purpose of Dutch gun laws is to create a clear division between legal gun owners and people who use guns for criminal purposes. So far, the Dutch have been fairly successful in accomplishing this objective.”
After the news broke, a police spokesperson spoke to the public about the growing cause for concern on the darknet and deep web in general. Specifically, the threat that the darknet causes issues like money laundering, identity theft, and international drug trade. “The police team from the National Unit cooperates with the Royal Military Police, Customs, international police partners, public and private parties,” he said.
Officials interrogated the 21-year-old and allowed him to go free pending a decision from the national prosecutor’s office in Rotterdam. According to to the spokesperson for the Office, Thomas Aling, the small village where the 21 year-old lived had no reason to fear any danger from the defendant.