The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of Rui-Ssyan Lin, a 23-year-old from Taiwan, who is believed to be the mastermind behind a major underground marketplace where users could buy and sell drugs anonymously. Lin, also known by the aliases Pharoah or Faro, was apprehended on May 18 at John F. Kennedy airport.

According to DOJ reports, the shadow market, known as Incognito Market, operated from October 2020 until its shutdown in March 2024. It facilitated the sale of illegal drugs and prescription medications totaling over $100 million, with transactions conducted using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero.

FBI Assistant Director James Smith stated that Lin had control over all aspects of Incognito Market, overseeing more than 1,000 sellers and serving over 200,000 customers. Smith added, “For nearly four years, Lin operated one of the largest online drug marketplaces, facilitating illegal transactions worth around $100 million.”

An FBI operational group member, Mark Rubins, revealed that Lin profited significantly from his illegal activities as the primary administrator of Incognito Market. Lin was responsible for setting marketplace rules and approving sellers for offering prohibited substances on the platform.

Lina faces charges including organizing criminal enterprises, drug distribution conspiracy, money laundering, and conspiracy to sell counterfeit or mislabeled drugs. The case highlights law enforcement’s efforts to crack down on illicit activities on the dark web.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.