A London, UK woman has been accused in the Southwark Crown Court of plotting to murder her “evil” mother by poisoning her with abrin purchased over the dark web with bitcoin.
Kuntal Patel considered her mother “controlling and manipulative”, allegedly ruining her hopes of marrying the man she loved. Prosecutor Jonathon Polnay further described:
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“Inspired, in part, by the U.S. television series Breaking Bad, she acquired a deadly toxin called abrin, a close relation to ricin. She acquired it over the Dark Web from a vendor in the USA. She paid using Bitcoins, a virtual, electronic currency, and used layer upon layer of encryption to try to cover her tracks.”
Patel had paid £900 (about $1,500) for the abrin on Black Market Reloaded, with which she allegedly spiked a can of diet coke. But the poison had no effect because it was ruined by the acid present. Abrin is a protein derived from seeds of the rosemary pea and is thus denatured in acidic environments. She had e-mailed her seller that “something had gone wrong” and asked for a more potent batch.
Patel was arrested after local authorities got a tip from the FBI, which was keeping tabs on the marketplace. Patel maintains that she bought the poison to commit suicide.