Daily Israel Report

Police Shut Down WhatsApp Drug Ring

Israeli police said that they had arrested three youths who were the brains behind a drug ring that used WhatsApp to distribute drugs.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/25/2014, 1:42 AM

Jewish students (illustrative)
Jewish students (illustrative)
Flash 90

Israeli police on Monday said that they had arrested three youths, 17 and 18 years of age, who were the brains behind a drug ring that used the WhatsApp mobile application to distribute drugs to children in a Jerusalem high school. The drugs were distributed via code words that the one of the youths broadcast in the chat group he had set up.

Police opened an investigation into the youth last month, and then expanded the investigation to include two other individuals. Customers of the three included dozens of high school students in grades 10 through 12.

The three would offer various kinds of drugs using code words; for example, when hashish was available they would broadcast a message that said “who wants eggplants;” for marijuania, the code word was “tickets to Haifa.” Other drugs were nicknamed “apples,” “movies,” etc.

Police questioned dozens of high school students over the last month, with students admiting that they had easy access to drugs, which they used frequently.

A Jerusalem court extended the remand of the drug-selling trio. They are not cooperating with the investigation, police said.

Last week, Facebook announced that it would buy WhatsApp for some $19 billion.