Police collar drugs peddlars on Google’s networking tool

Police in Brazil have arrested 10 people accused of using Google’s Orkut social networking website to sell drugs.

The police investigation began with authorised phone tapping which led them to the Internet dealings. A police officer who declined to be named said that there may yet be more arrests. The drugs in question were chiefly marijuana and ecstasy.

Orkut, named after the Google engineer who created it, Orkut Buyukkokten, and launched in January 2004 is extremely popular with Brazilians, who comprise almost three-quarters of its total seven million members. The website lets users set up online communities to chat about whatever they want and Google stresses that most of the narcotics-related, Portuguese language groups are anti-drug campaigners.

Google declined to comment beyond a short statement.

‘We are aware of the situation and are currently looking into it,’ the company said. ‘When we are made aware of situations that are against our terms of service we take appropriate action.’

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