Walking around the streets of Kyiv it’s not easy to ignore the graffiti on the wall. From graffiti stencils advertising local hostels, tags and throw ups from the local graffiti writers and painted political slogans on the pavements, the city is filled with urban scrawlings.
Some scrawlings however are prominent and stand out like a sore thumb. Huge, badly written and present on most walls in the Ukrainian capital things like @CALLDRUGS and @DEALLERS grab your attention.
You may wonder ”what is the @calldrugs or “@deallers” graffiti in Kyiv”?
These are telegram channels created by the city’s drug dealers to automate and popularise ordering drugs. After joining the channel (photo 1) you are directed to an automated ordering bot (photo 2) which will show you the drugs on offer. The bot also offers employment opportunities by rewarding people who go around the city spraying up the channel’s name in central locations.
The menu included two types of weed (OG Kush and AK 47), two types of speed (varying in purity) as well as some red bull branded ecstasy pills (MDMA). Users specify which area of the city they’re in and payment is taken in cryptocurrency so as to ensure anonymity for both the user and the drug gang. After the payment is received the user is directed to a random location in the area where the drugs have been dropped off and hidden. The local authorities are well aware of the situation but have had trouble closing down the drug supplying network hiding behind anonymous and automated technologies.
New encryption technologies are offering tech-friendly drug-preneurs the opportunity to avoid being detected and greatly reducing their risk of operating in countries with strict drug laws. The ability of criminal gangs to quickly adapt further highlights the failure of the drug prohibition laws globally. Such laws enable these gangs to generate massive income from illicit goods while selling to technologically adept users, regardless of age, remotely.
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