Global: Drug Pushing & Instagram

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The drug-pushers of Instagram caught on camera: Probe reveals social media giants are fuelling terrifying craze for prescription pills among teenagers

By Ben Ellery PUBLISHED: 10:13 AEDT, 4 February 2018

Ruthless dealers are using Instagram to sell highly addictive and deadly prescription drugs to youngsters across Britain, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.

Criminals openly lure people to buy the powerful tranquilliser Xanax, responsible for dozens of deaths, through the photo-sharing website used by millions of teenagers.

The brazen pushers make no attempt to hide their harmful and illegal trade, and before our investigation, Instagram — owned by internet giant Facebook — appeared to be making no effort to stop them.

Simply by searching for the phrase ‘xanaxUK’ and other similar terms on Instagram, Mail on Sunday investigators were able to locate dozens of drug peddlers on the site.

Doing the deal: Hoodie-wearing MZ sells Xanax to our undercover reporter

Within seconds, photographs of the pills and detailed price lists for Xanax, cannabis and ecstasy appeared alongside clear instructions on how to purchase them.

Users are instructed to contact the sellers through a free encrypted messaging app called Wickr — which deletes the messages after they are read — presumably to avoid dealers being traced by the police.

Xanax is a Class C controlled drug, carrying a maximum sentence for possessing, supplying or importing of 14 years’ imprisonment. Read more:


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