"Due to recent deaths and the threat to customers' well-being, we've come to the decision that starting today (08/19/2016) we will no longer allow the sale of fentanyl and its related analogues on our market," an announcement from an administrator of the marketplace Darknet Heroes League (DHL) reads.
"We've given all vendors that sell this product a 48 hour notice to remove the product from their listings or possibly lose their ability to vend. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding," the announcement continues. The administrator, who uses the moniker "SeriousSam," writes that, to their knowledge, no sales of fentanyl took place on the market.
Fentanyl powder is cheap and easy to obtain on the dark web, experts warn, making it attractive to those manufacturing it into pill form— Patti Anderson (@PuFavoured) 26 August 2016
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is far more powerful than morphine. The real danger of this drug is that users overestimate how much to take and dealers sell the drug under the pretense that it is something else.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has said the drug was linked to over 700 reported fatal overdoses in late 2013 and 2014, and dozens of deaths have been linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids so far this year.
There are plenty of fentanyl listings on AlphaBay, likely the largest and most popular market around at the moment. Some even come with "bonus" amounts, including an extra 50 milligrams with every purchase.
This isn't the first time a Dark Web marketplace has explicitly banned products, plenty of businesses prohibit the sale of firearms, while others allow only very specific listings, such as a cannabis-only market.