Sunday, March 18, 2012

The market for hitmen

If two men who have just met discuss a contract killing in a bar, there's an excellent chance that at least one of them is employed in some branch of law enforcement. So you would think that a website offering to match buyers and sellers in this market wouldn't have a lot of customers, but it appears from some recent court cases that you are overestimating the sophistication of internet shoppers. Here's a recent story from the LA Times. Apparently the proprietor of the site wasn't content to act as a matchmaker, he tried to play both sides of the market by selling hits and then contacting the intended victims and offering to be bought off. But it appears that the demand side was real, and some of them are serving time too...

Website matches targets and hit man
"The case began with a website called The designer thought it was a joke, but the FBI and Irish police soon learned that Essam Ahmed Eid, a Las Vegas poker dealer, was in business."

In another twist, the domain name has been acquired by someone who apparently hopes to make a movie about the case, and from the look of it thinks it might be a comedy:.

HT: Scott Cunningham, who keeps an economist's eye on the dark side

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