Police: drug deals have moved to chat platforms

In the fight against drugs, the State Police has set up separate units specializing in monitoring Telegram and other chat apps. Curbing drug trafficking on communications sites will be given increased attention by police in the future, said Juris Staļģevics, Head of Riga Region Administration of the State Police, at a press conference on Wednesday, January 31.

Staļģevics said the number of cases related to drug deals is increasing yearly. More than 700 drug cases were initiated in the Riga region in 2023. In total, in the Riga region, in 2023 the police removed more than 224 kilograms (kg) of various narcotics, the total amount of sales of which in the market could be almost EUR 4 million. Marijuana accounts for the most part, but amphetamine and cocaine also make up a large part.

Staļģevics , without naming specific figures, said the number of drug dealers had increased in recent years. These individuals actively use the Telegram communication site and other applications to market drugs. Last year, Riga Region Administration detained 78 persons operating in Telegram chats. 

Police will focus resources in this direction because “hand-in-hand” drug deals are becoming rarer, Staļģevics said.

"In principle, society and citizens are very active in knowing and seeing exactly what is happening with drugs in the city, it is thanks to reports from citizens that we have removed so many substances from circulation. Only with the public can the police reduce this plague," Staļģevics said.

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