Illegal Drugs Are Being Sold On Websites Like Gumtree And Craigslist

Online marketplace websites like Gumtree and Craigslist are providing a platform to drug dealers who claim they can deliver cocaine 'faster than a takeaway'.

Drug dealers are using the popular sales sites to advertise their services and arrange to meet up with punters to sell them cocaine and weed.

An investigation by The Sun found that they could get hold of around 5 grams worth of cocaine for prices between £40 and £80 within hours of responding to the online adverts. The deals were then finalised in public places in broad daylight.

One dealer reportedly bragged about being quicker to deliver than a pizza restaurant.

Credit: Craigslist
Credit: Craigslist

He said: "Drugs are prolific. It's like Deliveroo. They're as prolific as ordering a pizza."

Sites such as Craigslist and Gumtree - which is owned by eBay - turn over hundreds of millions of pounds every year through paid advertising. Craigslist made £500m in 2016.

However, they could be in for some criticism as finding drugs on their websites is remarkably easy. In fact, simple search terms can turn up adverts for white powders, weed, and pills.

The investigation took place in London but there are adverts on the site for several places in the UK such as Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, and even Bridgend.

One of the adverts reads: "No over the internet pay now and delivery later scam bull***t. Text me with order amount and a postcode and ill give you a precise eta. its as easy as that!"

Another says: "Charlie party supplies available for 24 hour delivery providing quality service tailored to your needs."Credit: Craigslist
Credit: Craigslist

One of the dealers spoke with The Sun's undercover reporter about why he does it. He said: "Yeah, for me it's just better than going into nightclubs and stuff.

"Sophisticated people like you are not going to meet someone drunk in a nightclub, do you know what I'm saying.

"I use Gumtree and Craigslist, there's also this thing called Freeads but Gumtree and Craigslist seem to be the main ones."

Another, asked about using Craigslist, said: "Yeah, it's the only way."

After the deals had been completed the investigators took them into a laboratory to be tested and found that five out of seven of the purchases contained high purity cocaine.

Two tested as negative for the drug and contained unknown and potentially dangerous chemicals.

The lab that tested the samples used technology comparable to the police. David Campbell, from SureScreen said: "Further laboratory analysis showed that the purity level of cocaine was high within the five samples that tested positive for the substance.

"The two negative samples require further laboratory analysis to confirm what they are."

LADbible contacted Gumtree, which provided a statement that read: "We have millions of listings and visitors every day who use the site legally to buy and sell, so it's disappointing to see a very small minority use it in this way.

"We do not permit the sale of illegal items and are always working to keep up with latest tactics to stop such activity. We also have a dedicated Trust & Safety team who remove ads that break our rules and works closely with the police, sharing information and supporting any investigations.

"We urge anyone who comes across a suspicious ad to report it to us immediately to help keep the site safe."

Craigslist has also been approached for comment.

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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