New York police have arrested the alleged operator of the darknet site Incognito Market, known under the pseudonym Pharoah. He is accused of profiting $100 million from drug trafficking.

Rui-Siang Lin, 23, was arrested May 18 at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and appeared in federal court on May 20, according to Manhattan prosecutors. Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James Smith said that Pharoah operated this darknet for almost four years before law enforcement officers revealed his identity.

Incognito Market was an electronic platform accessed using the anonymous Tor browser. This allowed users to buy and sell various drugs, including cocaine, LSD and amphetamines, with Bitcoin. Lin is charged with criminal enterprise, drug conspiracy and money laundering. He faces life imprisonment.

The FBI tracked at least four transactions in which Lin's address sent bitcoins received from Incognito Market to the service for exchange for the anonymous cryptocurrency XMR. At the request of law enforcement, the service provided the FBI with information about Lin's driver's license, which was used to open the account, as well as his email address and phone number. Based on this information, the FBI contacted his account at NameCheap, a company that manages domains and accepts payments in BTC – Lin was buying a domain for a website that promoted Incognito Market.

Note that Incognito Market closed in March 2024, after users of the darknet platform suspected it of an exit scam. Pharoah himself called these temporary difficulties after changes to the withdrawal systems.