The advertisements mostly appear in the ‘personals’ section of the classifieds websites, with sellers using traditional marketing lingo to entice buyers.
“High quality shards delivered to you anywhere in Perth,” touts one ad.
“Vouched for quality and service you will not be disappointed,” reads another.
Sellers include a mobile phone number, an email address, or a username attached to an encrypted messaging platform.
While meth, which users either smoke or inject, appears to be the most common drug on offer, ads can also be found for ecstasy, cannabis, steroids and fantasy.
Some of the advertisments offer sex in exchange for meth, or vice versa, but the majority involve a simple cash transaction.
The advertisements are mostly Perth-based, but some cater to users as far south as Mandurah and Bunbury, and north to Joondalup.
WA Police said law enforcement agencies were aware of the issue of drugs being bought and sold online, and while “much of the work undertaken by WA Police in this area cannot be discussed due to operational reasons”, if a complaint was made to officers further inquiries would be carried out.
“There are some users who illegally post such ads related to drugs (which are not allowed) and we are always on a lookout to erase such from our website,” a Locanto spokeswoman said.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts referred to the trend of selling illegal substances online as “stupid”, and fired a warning shot to both sellers and buyers.
“People who choose to order illicit drugs through these online forums, should know there’s a high chance you will be caught,” she said.
“Anyone stupid enough to advertise that they are selling illicit drugs should be aware that police are watching and will use all resources to track you down and charge you.”
Kate is the deputy editor of WAtoday.