Drug dealers lure teens on Facebook

2015-05-12 06:00
Police warn parents of children being lured into buying illegal subtances on Facebook and other social media platfroms.

astrid februarie (this photo is an illustration).

Police warn parents of children being lured into buying illegal subtances on Facebook and other social media platfroms. PHOTO: astrid februarie (this photo is an illustration).

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Parents are warned that their children may be lured into buying drugs and alcohol using social media sites.

The Diep River police have reported three incidents in which drug dealers used Facebook to target teenagers.

The parents of the teens reported to the police that contact details and the description of what could be bought had been given to their children.

“This method of selling illegal substances is similar to the ‘dial-a-drug’ method used by drug dealers,” says Diep River police spokesperson Warrant Officer Keith Chandler.

People’s Post previously reported that buying drugs is becoming as easy as ordering take-aways (“Drug devil goes mobile”, 30 July 2013).

The dial-a-drug method is understood to be common in the leafy parts of Athlone and other affluent areas in Cape Town. Drug pushers are coining it by running an effective delivery service, distributing mainly dagga and ecstasy by car.

A drug user says this makes it easy to avoid being arrested.

Athlone police spokesperson Constable ­Zita Norman says monitoring this trade is more challenging than policing drug dens.

“With a drug house we can execute search warrants, but those operating the dial-a- drug service are constantly changing their routes and where they deliver drugs to buyers,” she explained.

“We can only address the problem if we can identify drop-off points and suspected dealers. At this stage no one is coming forward with information,” Norman says.

Chandler explains that other social media platforms apart from Facebook are being used as well.

“We understand that the younger generation are targeted and informed on social media as to where and how they can get drugs and alcohol,” he says.

Chandler says the dealer would write on Facebook “if are you having a party, phone me for alcohol”.

In one such message the dealer wrote “I can’t get cheese this week” (cheese is another name for dagga), but he did provide a name and number for buying the drug.

The information has been passed on to crime intelligence who is investigating the cases further.

“We only came to know about it when parents of children attending school or college from the age of 16 and up were being targeted,” Chandler says.

He adds that fortunately the parents of the children who were targeted check their children’s social media activity.

“We do not see it as an invasion of privacy, but parents who are genuinely interested in their children’s safety and security,” he says.

. Meanwhile, Chandler also reported that several arrests were made in the Diep River area. These include four arrests for theft from cars, two house break-ins, two for possession of drugs, one for attempted robbery, one for robbery and two arrests from previous cases

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