Extorting, Exit Scamming, Darknet Market Owner of Incognito Busted by the Feds.

Rui-Siang Lin, also known as Ruisiang Lin, 林睿庠, Pharaoh, and faro, 23, of Taiwan, was arrested on May 18 at John F. Kennedy Airport. Lin, accused of operating Incognito Market, one of the largest darknet marketplaces, will face charges in Manhattan federal court today.

Extorting, Exit Scamming, Darknet Market Owner of Incognito Busted by the Feds.

Rui-Siang Lin, Alias “Pharaoh,” Apprehended for Running Incognito Market and Extorting Vendors

Rui-Siang Lin, also known as Ruisiang Lin, 林睿庠, Pharaoh, and faro, 23, of Taiwan, was arrested on May 18 at John F. Kennedy Airport. Lin, accused of operating Incognito Market, one of the largest darknet marketplaces, will face charges in Manhattan federal court today. The platform facilitated the anonymous sale of illegal narcotics, allegedly amassing over $100 million in transactions​​​ (Krebs on Security)​.

You can see all of Rui-Siang Lin's Social media here:
https://rs.me/

Github: https://github.com/RuiSiang


Twitter: https://x.com/ruisiang_tw
Medium: https://ruisiang.medium.com/
OpenSea: https://opensea.io/ruisiang
Portfolio.rs.me: https://portfolio.rs.me/
Public Node: https://nodes.rs.me/



Lin’s Arrest and Market Operations

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland emphasized that the arrest of Lin, the alleged architect of Incognito Market, represents a significant enforcement action against darknet drug trafficking. In reality though it doesn't multiple markets have replaced it since it's exit scam. Incognito Market, active since October 2020, was accessible globally via the Tor network, enabling users to trade various narcotics, including cocaine and methamphetamines, with high levels of anonymity​​​ (Krebs on Security)​.

Lin, operating under the pseudonym “Pharaoh,” managed the platform’s extensive operations, overseeing vendors and customers, and making key decisions for the marketplace. Despite the government’s narrative of a crackdown on darknet operations, the reality remains that many such markets continue to thrive, protected by sophisticated encryption and anonymizing technologies​ (leafie)​.

Exit Scam and Extortion Tactics

Beyond facilitating narcotics trade, Lin is also implicated in an elaborate exit scam and subsequent extortion scheme. This was reported on by me here:


Reports indicate that in early 2024, Incognito Market began restricting withdrawals, trapping users’ funds. Pharaoh then demanded ransom payments from vendors, threatening to release sensitive transaction information unless his demands were met​ (Krebs on Security)​​ (Protos)​. I reported about Incognito darknet markets attempt at extortion in my youtube video called "DONT PAY THE RANSOM - Incognito April buyer Extortion Imminent?".

Also prior to that we discussed this topic in: "Incognito Darknet Admin Extorts Darknet Vendors: With Nothing - Many Cave."



Pharaoh, aka Rui-Siang Lin aka Ruisiang Lin, also stated that buyers would be extorted next. This very instance was covered by me here:

The site’s auto-encrypt function, intended to secure user communications, was manipulated to store plaintext messages, granting administrators access to private transaction details. This data was then used to extort vendors, with Pharaoh leveraging the threat of exposure to law enforcement to extract payments. This strategy mirrors earlier law enforcement operations like the Dutch takedown of the Hansa market​ (leafie)​​ (Protos)​.

Impact on the Darknet Ecosystem

Despite the significant sums involved and the high-profile nature of Lin’s arrest, the darknet remains a resilient and adaptive ecosystem. The closure of Incognito Market is unlikely to deter the ongoing trade of illicit substances online, as new platforms continually emerge to fill the void left by those taken down by authorities​ (Market Realist)​.

If anything the opposite is true, the publicity will most likely fuel curiosity which will lead to research. As a result, the opposite effect will take place.

Lin faces severe legal consequences if convicted, including a mandatory minimum of life in prison for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, along with multiple other charges related to narcotics conspiracy and money laundering​​.

Law Enforcement and Future Challenges

The investigation, conducted by the FBI, HSI, DEA, FDA-OCI, and NYPD, underscores the complexities of modern darknet operations. While such arrests are heralded as victories, the broader challenge of curbing illegal online activities persists. Encryption and anonymizing technologies continue to shield many darknet operators from detection, making enforcement efforts akin to a game of whack-a-mole​ (Protos)​​ (Market Realist)​.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan B. Finkel and Nicholas Chiuchiolo for the Southern District of New York are prosecuting the case as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation, aiming to dismantle high-level criminal organizations threatening the United States​​.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/media/1352571/dl