Netherland: It is noted that synthetic and manufactured narcotic substances, such as those that induce euphoria, are usually the best-selling types in the city of Amsterdam, but it is currently possible to use posters bearing encrypted symbols that can be photographed with mobile phone cameras, as a new tool to promote different types of narcotic substances, such as cocaine and cannabis, over the Internet.
But this innovative promotional method, which connects customers with dealers, distributors and drug delivery service to homes, is not limited to the city of Amsterdam, which is a haven for drugs, as posters also appeared on lampposts, advertisements and fences in other Dutch cities, such as Nijmegen on the border with Germany, and university city Utrecht.
“It’s a brazen new way of marketing,” says Ton Nappen, a professor of criminology at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. “These posters are now being used to publicly advertise drugs.”
Nabin, an expert on youth culture and drug use, admits he was surprised by this sudden development but says it is too early to gauge how it will affect the overall drug-trafficking activity.
The Netherlands is a centre for the international drug trade, especially synthetic drugs and cocaine, but for the most part, these narcotic drugs are shipped all over Europe and even to Australia, while a small amount is consumed locally.
The sale of banned narcotic substances has been in line with technological progress for some time, and of course, the traditional distribution methods of drugs used at parties, festivals or clubs are still valid, but the advent of mobile phones has given impetus to large sales on the Internet.
Amsterdam police are investigating drug trafficking using these posters but have little hope of intercepting the traffickers. “It is not possible to discover who is behind the posters,” a police spokesman said.