HYDRA is the world's largest darknet drug marketplace.
The site operates in the post-Soviet space.
Since its inception in 2015,
its turnover has reached a billion dollars, and the number of users has exceeded a million people.
There are 3000 of online stores on HYDRA. User can buy any kind of drugs and read reviews, ask questions to the support service. After the purchase, you receive the coordinates and photos of the place where the drugs are hidden.
Drugs are spread by “treasures”. Shop couriers hide in secluded places of cities “treasures” - small packages of drugs. It is attached with magnets to fences, drainpipes, electrical panels. Sometimes it is buried in parks and graveyards, hidden in entrances of multi-storey buildings or industrial zones.
About $ 3 million worth
of “treasures” are made daily on Hydra.
As of December 2020,
an average of 137000 deals were initiated by buyers every day on HYDRA.
“Treasures” are spread by the treasuremens - couriers of drug stores. In most cases, these are young people looking for an opportunity to earn money, often schoolchildren and students. When caught by the police, they are tried for the distribution of drugs on an especially large scale. Average prison sentences are 10-20 years.
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Ivan (name has been changed) 32 years old. At 29 he was sentenced to three years probation.
“I have been working in the restaurant business since I was 18 years old. I worked as a bartender, hall administrator and manager. This is a business where sometimes you have to work 16 hours a day, 5-6 days in a row! During such periods, I used amphetamine. I do not use drugs systematically, I do not go to clubs much, I mostly spend time with my girlfriend. Two and a half years ago, my shiftworker fell ill and in the future I had to work 15 shifts in a row. Together with the chef, we bought amphetamine in the darknet and I went to pick it up. The police grabbed me just as I picked up the treasure. The judge gave me a three-year suspended sentence. Because of this, I had to change jobs. Now I work in a small restaurant where people do not know about my criminal record. Six months ago, friends offered me to open a bar in the south of the country. But their co-investor found out about my criminal record through his connections with the police and the project was closed. I didn't kill or rob anyone, but now I have a stigma on me for life. In my opinion, freedom is the ability to act without harming anyone. I have always adhered to this principle. But this is not enough in our country. "
Alexander (name has been changed), 28 years old. He was sentenced to three years probation.
“I was caught picking up the treasure. I think they followed this place, maybe it's their shop and courier in general. I managed to throw out the treasure, but they found it and put it back in my pocket. There were no options to come to an agreement, it was the end of the year and they had to fulfill the plan. The judge ended up giving me a three-year suspended sentence, with a two-year probationary period. I had to go to check in with special inspectors, bring a certificate from work and be tested that I was clean. For all the time they did not ask me anything, they did not offer me to undergo rehabilitation. They don't care about their job! They just sit and drink tea. My boss is a great guy. When he learned about my criminal record from the security service, he invited me to talk to him in his office. He supported me and asked me not to do this again! I understand that I was lucky, I was not fired. But on the other hand, I cannot change my job, because I may not be taken elsewhere. "