Obviously a slow news day again. This from The Daily Telegraph-UK (article link):
Internet drug trafficking skyrockets, experts warn
Drug trafficking on the internet has soared as the medium becomes more commonplace, presenting far more challenges and dangers than traditional trafficking, experts have warned.
Interpol officers warn that the internet has created a new customer base for drug dealers of people who could almost be persuaded by the sanitised nature of web transactions that they were not doing anything illegal.
The worldwide policing organisation's Daniel Altmeyer told the World Forum Against Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden: "Buying drugs on the internet is really easy. "You only need an internet cafe, a credit card, and it's done."
And law enforcement authorities struggle to track down those responsible since the crime is not only conducted at the point of purchase.
"A website may be hosted in Sweden, but the drug will come from Latin America and will be shipped by boat to South Africa, with dealers spread out across Europe," he said. "It's a global network."
He said that while there are no statistics available for the number of people buying drugs online, sales have rocketed in the past few years, with most of those buying them being web-savvy and curious users under the age of 30.
They have access to websites, forums and chatrooms where a link that can provide them with illegal drugs in just a few clicks of a mouse.
"There's this feeling of being anonymous behind your screen, it doesn't always feel illegal," said Krister Gaefvert, a police inspector in Sweden, a leading country in the fight against internet drug trafficking.
Another Swedish detective, Cecilia Fant, said that drug trafficking via the web was almost perceived as "a white-collar crime".
"There's no more Pablo Escobar with handcuffs behind his back," she said.
But the anonymity of it all presents a big risk, Mr Gaefvert added.
"With traditional trafficking, you knew your dealer, you knew where the drugs came from. Here, you don't know anything," he said.
A traditional dealer might also provide information on how much of a certain drug to take, but on the web guidelines can vary dramatically.
Prescription drugs represent about 90 percent of the illegal substances sold on the internet, he said, while synthetic drugs such as amphetamines and ecstasy, as well as cocaine, cannabis and heroin are easily available.
"You find a lot of products with some comments from fake specialists and photos of people wearing a white lab coat. The purpose is to look very serious, just to make the client think that he's not doing anything illegal," Mr Gaefvert said.