Italy: illegal sale of anti-Covid vaccine doses on Telegram: two channels blocked
Telegram and other dark social networks can be a vehicle for dangerous and illegal conduct: more than 4,000 registered users, in this case, for purchases on darkweb. Exorbitant prices: 155 euros for a supposed dose of vaccine and up to 20,000 for a stock of 800 vials with a guarantee of anonymity
Telegram channels blocked: the Guardia di Finanza’s operation
They illegally offered to the public doses of vaccine of AstraZeneca spa, Pfizer srl and Moderna inc. through the Dark-Web (4,000 users subscribed to the channel) at exorbitant prices.
155 Euro for a supposed dose of vaccine and up to 20,000 Euro for a stock of 800 vials with guaranteed anonymity, traceability of the shipment, temperature-controlled packaging and even a booster included in the offer; a profitable business that attracted thousands of people interested in immunising themselves from the virus without waiting for the timing of the current vaccination campaign.
The investigation, coordinated by Eugenio Fusco, Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office, and directed by Assistant Public Prosecutors Bianca Maria Baj Macario and Maura Ripamonti, is being conducted by the Guardia di Finanza’s Special Unit for the Protection of Privacy and Technological Fraud.
The techniques used to carry out the sale were peculiar: the two Telegram channels, accessible after authorisation by the operator, served as a showcase and then directed the buyer to the Marketplaces dedicated to the purchase on the Dark-Web where he could choose the desired vaccine and make the payment only through cryptocurrency.
A special customer service was also available through anonymous users created on instant messaging platforms. The two channels were blocked by the Guardia di Finanza’s Special Unit for the Protection of Privacy and Technological Fraud.