The life and death of Russia’s biggest online drug dealer

The life and death of Russia’s biggest online drug dealer
Photo: Lenta

“Darkside” passed away in August 2015 after a heroin overdose.

“Darkside”, the founder and chief administrator of Russia's largest drug trafficking platform in the Darknet, Russian Anonymous Marketplace (RAMP), died in August 2015 from an overdose, an informed source close to the RAMP administration reported.

According to the source, Darkside was close to another site administrator that had a nickname “Orange” and gave the access to his RAMP account and a PGP key (a unique public encryption key, often serving as an ID in the Darknet). Orange often managed the site on behalf of Darkside since then.

The source claims that Darkside died in August 2015 after a heroin overdose. The RAMP founder was allegedly called Igor; he lived in Nizhny Novgorod and worked as a programmer.

The source also indirectly confirmed Darkside’s death through his accounts in Battlefield. According to the source, the RAMP founder was fond of shooting games and was an active member of thematic gaming forums under the nicknames Madsubj and BBzor.

In one of the forum threads, he said his opponent was welcome to come to Nizhny Novgorod and deal with him; in another, players talked about the blocking of his profile, mentioning "the Nizhny Novgorod Igor." Darkside also used the nickname Madsubj to upload his own music to SoundCloud and boasted it on the Battlefield forums.

Darkside’s death in the summer of 2015 is evidenced through his history of online game sessions. The last game of the Battlefield series, which he played under the nicknames BBzor and Madsubj was Battlefield 4, released in 2013. The next part - Battlefield Hardline - was released already in 2015. In August 2015, Madsubj logged into his Steam account for the last time.

RAMP was the largest drug dealer in the Russian Darknet. Its annual turnover was 24 billion rubles ($376.400.000), and the number of users exceeded 295 thousand people.

In the summer of 2017, the site stopped working, and in September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that RAMP was eliminated. However, a research by Lenta.ru journalists titled Russia under Drugs found out that RAMP had been destroyed by its main competitor, a site called Hydra.

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