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WeChat app used by pupils for sex, drugs and gambling

MALAYSIA — An increasing number of teenagers and schoolchildren are using the mobile phone application WeChat for online gambling, as well as to connect with others looking for sexual hook-ups and for the buying and selling of drugs, according to Malaysian Chinese-language news site Oriental Daily.

WeChat app used by pupils for sex, drugs and gambling

An increasing number of teenagers and schoolchildren are using the mobile phone application WeChat for online gambling, as well as to connect with others looking for sexual hook-ups and for the buying and selling of drugs. Photo: REUTERS

MALAYSIA — An increasing number of teenagers and schoolchildren are using the mobile phone application WeChat for online gambling, as well as to connect with others looking for sexual hook-ups and for the buying and selling of drugs, according to Malaysian Chinese-language news site Oriental Daily.

Mr Zhang Jing Wen, a social worker who deals with marginalised teens, said WeChat has become a breeding ground for sex, drugs and gambling as it allows youngsters to evade detection.

“It is unfortunate that whenever we go to schools to conduct awareness campaigns, most parents have the misconception that all they have to do is to stop their children from being addicted to online games,” said Mr Zhang.

“They don’t know that the internet has a much darker side, and that through WeChat alone, their children can have easy access to sex, drugs and gambling.”

He said apart from sexual predators, most WeChat users were gambling and drug-dealing organisations or individuals waiting to “trap” unsuspecting youth for unhealthy activities.

Drug organisations have even created special passwords and code names to enable their customers to trade via the app without being detected by authorities.

“To avoid attention, they will use code names for drugs such as ‘cold water’ for meth, ‘candy’ for E, ‘chicken’ for Ketamine and ‘wine’ for happy5,” Mr Zhang said of the sale of drugs to pupils.

According to Mr Gao De Guang from a gamblers’ rehabilitation centre, some 60 per cent of rehab members were involved in online gambling, and most are between the ages of 20 and 30. Pupils make up 10per cent of the rehab members.

A spokesman from the Kluang branch told the daily that pupils as young as 11 are involved in gambling, raking up debts of a few hundred ringgit.

“The pupils think that a few hundred ringgit isn’t severe enough to notify their parents, so they try to pay off their debts by gambling more, only to fall in greater debt than before.”

In most cases, parents will pay off their children’s debt to “save face”, said Mr Gao. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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