Online social networks are now popular channels for the sale of illicit drugs, a forum heard last week.
The findings of research conducted on the subject were released at a panel discussion titled “Narcotics Market and Online Crimes” attended by representatives of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The study by Kanittha Thaikla, a lecturer at the Research Institute for Health Sciences, Chiang Mai University, revealed that Twitter is a popular mode of communication between drug dealers and buyers.
Last year, the online drug trade was conducted mostly through Facebook and Line, according to Ms Kanittha, whose study covered the period from April until the end of last month.
During that period, more than 200 Twitter account owners were found to be selling narcotics and controlled drugs. Many new Twitter users were purchasing crystal methamphetamine, cannabis, methamphetamine pills, kratom, and painkillers under tight regulatory control.
The sellers and buyers have coined a lingo to communicate between themselves and evade scrutiny by authorities. After placing orders and transferring money, the customers received the drugs via delivery services.