The Internal Security Forces arrested two members in connection with a drug trafficking ring on Saturday--but the operation was conducted using a popular video game!
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, also referred to as PUBG, is a highly popular video game where players can talk to each other to complete missions online through their cell phones, PCs, or other gaming consoles. However, some of these players decided to use the game for other purposes.
According to the ISF, a female player would log on to the game and converse with young male players in order to convince them to meet her at various locations in and around Beirut. After the meetup, the young men would then be commissioned to sell illegal drugs from the Bekaa Valley area to buyers in southern Lebanon and Mount Lebanon.
The ISF did not release the full names of the two suspects in custody, but they have identified them as M.M. and Aa.H., born between May 26-27 of 1997 and 1999.
In addition to the two arrests, the ISF raided a home in Ain El-Remmaneh in Baabda, Mount Lebanon, siezing 370 grams of hashish and 57 boxes of cocaine that were part of the network's operation.
No further arrests have been made as of now in connection with the trafficking network, but the ISF announced that they have plans to further investigate the operation.
This isn't the first large operation the Lebanese ISF has interfered with in recent years, as they even executed Lebanon's largest drug bust just last year, recovering more than 15,000 kilograms of hashish.
However, the means by which this particular network was built through online gaming is a new innovation in the black market of drugs. And, as people are finding new ways around the law, the law is also catching up.