Gangs sell Class A drugs online during lockdown by advertising them as homeware – The Sun

GANGS are selling Class A drugs online during lockdown by advertising them as retro homeware.

Criminals are keeping the blackmarket flooded with cocaine, MDMA and LSD using classifieds website Craigslist – but coming up with ways to circumvent the site's filters.

Under one headline, 'High end mid century table lamps', a photograph showed a brazen dealer holding buds of cannabis and a joint, while superimposed writing advertised 'coke, MDMA, pills, hash, meth, LSD, weed, moon rock, GHB'.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) warned fewer drugs are available in the UK as a result of the lockdown, pushing prices up.

In just one week, five Glasgow dealers had posted 23 adverts under the 'for sale' section – including 'Queen size mattress & box spring & bed frame – £75', and a 'modern dresser'.

Superintendent Tim Ross, from Police Scotland's Safer Communities division, said: "Criminals – including those who sell drugs – will attempt to manipulate and exploit any circumstance to their own advantage and the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is no exception.

"Police Scotland is very aware of the tactics, mechanisms and platforms used by drug dealers and we have a range of tools available for monitoring this kind of criminal behaviour.

"The current situation will not prevent us from taking enforcement action.

"Drugs are a significant source of harm in Scotland, bringing misery to individuals, families and communities the length and breadth of the country and we are committed to making Scotland a hostile environment for those involved in this trade."

Professor Simon Harding, director of the National Centre for Gang Research (NCGR) at the University of West London, said: "Street gangs are being forced to find new tactics, such as shifting grooming and recruitment online to social media.

"This means young people can become ensnared in dangerous gang activity from their phones while their families have no idea and that is a worry."

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