Drug syndicates in the country have resorted to multi-level marketing (MLM) to promote their product particularly among school and college students.
National Anti-Drug Agency, Kuala Lumpur director Tengku Hanizar Tengku Awang said various types of drug could be obtained through group Whatsapp with drug dealers baiting members that they could get the substance at a special price through MLM.
She cited ‘Mary Jane’, ‘Cik Putih’, ‘butterfly’, ‘playboy’, as among the code names used by the syndicates to promote and sell the drugs covertly.
Intelligence carried out by the agency found that drug supplies would be sent by syndicate members to the addresses given by customers and transactions done in cash, according to her.
“Code names are used to avoid notice. For instance, if someone received a package with ‘Mary Jane’ on it, or communicates with the syndicate using a specific code name, his family would hardly be aware that it was about drugs.
“Other than students, the syndicates target club-goers,” she told Bernama in an exclusive interview at her office here recently.
She said the whatsapp group members would get their supply of drugs at a special price if they promote them to their friends, for instance, 10gm of cannabis could be obtained for RM50.
Tengku Hanizar said drug use among students in the city was becoming a worrying phenomenon. A greater number tested postive for drugs this year compared to the previous year.
She said between January and July this year, 72 secondary students in Kuala Lumpur tested positive for drugs with 60, for cannabis. In 2015, 48 students tested positive for drugs, with 44, for cannabis.
“Between January and July this year, AADK carried out urine screening on 2,575 students in 100 schools involving four districts, Cheras, Dang Wangi, Brickfields and Sentul.
“Usually, we carry out the screening on high risk students with discipline problem of absenteeism, smoking, weak academic performance and others,” she said.
Among the excuses given by students found to be involved in drugs were peer influence, curiousity and emotional stress.
Nevertheless, she said, various programmes were being carried out by the agency to promote awareness among secondary students such as ‘KemSayangi Hidup Elak Derita Selamanya (SHIELDS Camp) which is a motivational programme, and for primary school pupils, the ‘Program Intelek Asuhan Rohani (Smart Programme 2.0)’.
Tengku Hanizar advised parents to regularly monitor their children’s movements, behaviour changes and social media interactions, and to scrutinize the contents of their mobile phones as a cautionary measure against drugs.