Two drug dealers who made millions of dollars selling cocaine, MDMA and LSD on encrypted messaging app telegram through automated bots have been jailed for more than a decade, according to VICE World News.
Jehanzeb Amar, 29, from London and Salahydin Warsame, 29, from Birmingham, sold all sorts of drugs under the name "LetsWork."
The pair operated an automated digital retail system to sell illegal drugs on Telegram. The online store was powered by robo-drug dealers that would guide customers on the drugs they needed and even take orders.
Metropolitan Police first uncovered the automated drug dealing system in February after a raid of a vehicle with packages of drugs addressed to different locations in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland about to be sent to the Post Office.
In another raid, this time an undisclosed property, officers found thousands of tablets of LSD, cutting agents, crypto wallets, laptops, and cash.
VICE first uncovered the "robot dealer service" using Televend, which automates the entire drug dealing process in October.
At the height of the operation, the automated service maintained a customer base of about 1,000 subscribers. The operation was 24/7, thanks to the computerized systems.
One user of the service who wished to remain anonymous told VICE:
"I scored some MDMA last week off a bot. It took a minute. It works faster than any market I've ever used, and it's always online.
Amar and Warsame were convicted on Wednesday at Birmingham Crown Court for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. They were given 13 and a half years and ten and a half years in jail, respectively.
"Amar and Warsame mistakenly believed that they could act with impunity carrying out this multi-million-pound drug enterprise online," said Detective Sergeant Damian Hill, of the Met's specialist crime south command.
"My team worked closely with the Met's Economic Crime Team and the Cyber Crime Unit who can tackle organised crime of this type carried out over the dark web and social media apps.
"Anyone considering ordering illegal drugs online using cryptocurrencies should be aware they are not doing this anonymously and are at risk of prosecution as well as leaving themselves vulnerable to the organised criminal networks whom they have provided their names and home addresses to."
First came the darknet, then social media apps put thousands of drug dealers in your pocket. Now the latest is robo-drug dealing on encrypted apps. We're sure someone else will replicate this on a different app.