CNB investigating SMS drug peddling

CNB investigating SMS drug peddling
11.06.2015

SINGAPORE: Drug-pushing has been taken to a new level in Singapore: Dealers are now touting through mass-SMS, raising concerns, in particular, of youths being sucked into abusing.

One such text message seen by TODAY, sent from a number the receiver is not acquainted with, read: “Dealing with Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, amphetamines, Cannabis, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine, Ketamine. Call or Whatsapp.”

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) told TODAY it was recently alerted to such a practice among drug dealers.

“CNB is aware of the Short Message Service claiming supply of drugs and is looking into the matter,” said its spokesperson.

Such “brazen” peddling calls for concern, said youth counsellors, especially as drug abuse among youths is on the rise.

Figures released by the CNB in January show that while the overall number of drug abusers has fallen, more young people are getting hooked on drugs. Two-thirds of the 1,058 new abusers arrested last year were below the age of 30. Five years ago, this group made up only about 29 per cent of the number of new abusers.

“DEEPLY CONCERNED”

Mr Viknesan SB, senior counsellor at the National Addictions Management Service, said such easy accessibility can tempt youths to try drugs out of curiosity.

Dr Carol Balhetchet, senior director of youth services at the Singapore Children’s Society, said she is “deeply concerned” because children and youths-at-risk spend a lot of time on their phones and social media.

“It is quite natural that peddlers are getting more creative … I will not be surprised if they use the same approach to get youths to join neighbourhood gangs, be involved in unlicensed money lending, and so on,” she said. Click here