When Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg bought messaging application WhatsApp for $19 billion last week, he probably didn’t know he was get a drug distribution tool with it.
On Monday, Jerusalem police said they arrested three teenagers, aged 17-18, on suspicion of selling drugs to teenagers across the city in recent months, Channel 10 reported.
The suspected dealers’ preferred form of communication with buyers? WhatsApp.
Police suspect that the three ran their drug sales by opening a group using the app and using it to manage communications with buyers. Dozens of students from schools across the capital were members in the group.
It is believed that when transactions or meetings were about to take place, code words were used in the online forum. Among the expressions were “bring the eggplant” and “deliver the movies,” presumably a reference to hashish, a marijuana derivative.
The three suspects, all residents of towns near Jerusalem, were to be taken later Monday for a remand hearing
WhatsApp, a messaging service for smartphones, lets users chat with their phone contacts, both one-on-one and in groups. The service allows people to send texts, photos, videos and voice recordings over the Internet.
It also lets users communicate with people overseas without incurring charges for pricey international texts and phone calls. It’s free to use for the first year and costs $1 per year after that. It has no ads.
On February 20, Facebook announced it would be buying the mobile messaging service for $19 billion in cash and stock.