A British drugs kingpin involved in the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) largest-ever crypto seizure, has pleaded guilty to running a network of dark web marketplaces, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Friday.
Forty-year-old Banmeet Singh admitted to distributing hundreds of kilograms of drugs through vendors on dark web sites including Silk Road one and two, Alpha Bay, and Hansa.
The DEA says it seized $150 million worth of crypto from Singh as part of the “largest single cryptocurrency and cash seizure in DEA history.” According to his plea agreement, the seizure comprised more than 8,100 bitcoin, worth roughly $342 million today. The US recently announced it would sell $130 million worth of bitcoin linked to a previous Silk Road seizure.
Singh sold and distributed LSD, ecstasy, fentanyl, Xanax, ketamine, and Tramadol between 2012 and 2017 in exchange for crypto while laundering the profits. The DoJ claims he organized the shipment of drugs and sent them internationally, from England and Jamaica to Ireland and all 50 states of America.
Attorney Kenneth L. Parker said that members of Singh’s network frequently “signed off with the signature phrase, ‘I’m still dancing.’” He added, “Today, with Banmeet Singh’s plea of guilty, the dance is over.”
Singh was indicted by the US in 2018 and arrested in London in 2019. He was eventually extradited from the UK in 2023.
Singh was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the Washington Post, Singh is expected to receive an eight-year prison sentence.