It has been revealed that many teenagers are now using a very secret emoji code to buy drugs on social media.
An investigation has found out that teenagers are using a secret emoji code to buy illegal drugs through social media.
A BBC documentary has revealed that teens are making hundreds of pounds a day trading in Class As via Instagram, Snapchat and Yellow.
The new episode of Stacy Dooley Investigates found that youngsters are using emojis to hide the illicit deals, with different symbols for different drugs.
A maple leaf is used to represent drugs in general while the diamond represents cocaine, crack or crystal meth.
While an emoji of a pill represents ecstasy or MDMA and the needle refers to heroin, while it is believed that a lightning bolt also refers to ecstasy.
In the programme Miss Dooley met a 15-year-old called ‘Denver’ at Maidstone train station to buy seven MDMA pills – while he was still wearing his school uniform.
While ‘Tai’, 16, met the documentary maker in Croydon and said he makes around £300 a day.
The teen said he started selling at 12 years of age and added: ‘I’m a kid so kids know me and kids come to me to get their thing.
‘All these people that want it they’re going to come. It’s not my fault that they want it.
‘Right now I’m making more money than I know I get in a job. Money is addictive.’
Gang members also told the BBC they are making thousands of pounds in a matter of days by selling through these apps.
One gang member told the presenter that around 75% of their earnings come through social media.
The drugs gang also showed Miss Dooley a large shipment of liquid cocaine from South America that was hidden inside olive oil bottles.
A Snapchat spokesperson: ‘Every single one of our policies prohibit the use of Snapchat for illegal activity.
‘We have dedicated teams that work around the clock to enforce those policies and to respond to requests from law enforcement.
‘We encourage all Snapchatters to report anything to us that doesn’t belong on Snapchat, including by using our new in-app reporting tools.’
Instagram and Yellow have been contacted for comment.