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She was driven to Telegram when perusing a story on cars and motorcycles, as well as other usual youth accounts like singers and hilarious videos. There, it was possible to get narcotics like ketamine and cocaine.
Abusing Children’s Trust
In addition to using social media to sell narcotics, gangs also use it to kidnap and recruit kids. One such victim is Anna (pseudonym), who was a teenager when she was taken advantage of by an Eastern European drug gang in south Wales.
It all started when a young man she met on a night out sent her a friend request on Snapchat. Anna thought they were starting a relationship since he was attractive and she felt taken care of by someone who wasn’t much older than her. However, the guy perceived Anna as a young, helpless, and easily preyed upon. She eventually began peddling drugs to appease him.
Anna was devastated to learn that he was sending messages to other females while she was naively under the impression that he was her boyfriend. She was imprisoned and had nowhere else to turn. The gang used intimidation and trickery to maintain power. They also gave away free narcotics and then sought payback through drug trafficking or sexual favors.
Trapped and Alone
When a false Snapchat account was used, it produced unsettling results, recommending as friends people who seemed to be drug traffickers and who were uploading images of substances for sale. Despite the account’s apparent youth, this sparked concerns about how Snapchat’s algorithm connects users to prospective criminals.
Tom, a former Cardiff gang member, spoke about his involvement in grooming and the perilous effects it had on the targeted youths. He described how County Lines, a structure that allowed gangs from larger cities to establish their operations in exchange for cheap narcotics, allowed them to enter places like Cardiff.
Numerous drug sellers were discovered during a study of Telegram’s “people nearby” function, revealing a concerning ease of access for underage users.
Large UK Issue
The investigators emphasized how pervasive the problem was given that defendants were typically 25 years old and frequently had past convictions for drug supply. These gangs use kids as human pawns to smuggle narcotics out of London.
Through social media, Anna has been able to avoid the gang’s influence, but she is still wary. Tom regrets his part in endangering the lives of children, but he was relieved when the police apprehended him, terminating his association with the gang.