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An in-depth new study shows that the online market for illegal drugs is growing

Undated handout of ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical Thomson Reuters

The market for online sales of illegal drugs has greatly increased in the last three years, according to an in-depth study carried out by RAND Europe.

The study (which we first saw on NBC News) analysed popular "deep web" drug websites that operate on a hidden version of the internet accessible through the Tor web browser.

RAND Europe's study found that the number of transactions on illegal drug sites has tripled since 2013, and revenues have almost doubled.

The change in drug marketplaces since 2013 is especially significant as that was the year that the biggest drug marketplace, The Silk Road, was shut down by police. RAND Europe's study has found that the closure of the site didn't bring down the online drug sales industry.

Elsewhere in the study, researchers found that wholesale transactions (which...

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