An Australian woman allegedly hired a hitman on the darkweb to murder her parents.
A British journalist uncovered the plot while investigating the darkweb for a series commissioned by the BBC, Australian police reported. The woman, a 26-year-old from Canberra, found a site on the darkweb offering murder-for-hire services. In September, the woman agreed to pay the operator of the site $20,000 to have her parents—prominent figures in the Australian Capital Territory—murdered. She had paid only $6,000 of the $20,000 bounty at the time of her arrest.
“ACT Policing acted quickly to ensure there was no threat to the safety of the victims in this matter,” Acting Sergeant Beth McMullen said.
“This was a complex investigation due to the report originating overseas, and being able to track and verify the dark web payment. ACT Policing liaised with international police authorities to seek further evidence to lead to yesterday’s search warrant and arrest. The victims also cooperated with police, and we don’t believe there is an ongoing threat to their safety.”
After receiving the tip, Australian authorities took steps to ensure the safety of the parents, tracked the suspect’s internet activity, and pulled her financial records.
The police acknowledged that the site offered fraudulent services, much like Besa Mafia, Crimebay, and similar “murder-for-hire” scams on the darkweb. They said, however, that they had concerns about the defendant’s state of mind as well as the possibility for violent behavior in the future.
“This was certainly an unusual matter for the ACT but we have seen an increase in crime online, and certainly crime involving the dark web,” McMullen said. “[The parents] cooperated fully with us to provide information for the investigation to be resolved as soon as possible. The victims were very shocked and understandably concerned about the information that police had obtained,” McMullen said.
Police raided the daughter’s home on Monday, December 7. They placed the daughter under arrest and seized computers and other electronic devices. She made her first court appearance the following day where she heard her charges:
- two counts of attempted murder;
- two counts of inciting murder;
- and burglary and theft.
“We do not at this time know where the website is based, but certainly inquiries are ongoing in relation to that,” McMullen said.