Drug cartels are recruiting in Grand Theft Auto Online – here’s how

For several months, we have been talking about actions of recruitment speak Mexican criminal organizations directly inside the online video gamesand in particular of grand theft auto online, a game where the predominant component of travel and deliveries. Although there is little evidence, in fact already last year the Mexican police revealed that some young players had been recruited by drug cartels through GTA Online.

Young players recruited by drug cartels via GTA Online

According to a case brought to light by Forbesit appears that US authorities have also gathered evidence that GTA Online is indeed a recruitment tool for Mexican cartels.

Grand Theft Auto V

In November of last year, Arizona Border Protection agents discovered on board a Jeep Cherokee almost 60 kg of methamphetamine. When the driver was asked, Alyssa Navarroas if she had come into possession of the drug, the woman replied that it all started with Grand Theft Auto Online. In January, she virtually met a man who went by the name “George” and, after getting to know each other in the game, they moved on Snapchat and they agreed to meet in real life at Phoenix.

On Snapchat, George reportedly asked the woman if she was willing to perform as “mule” drugs, telling her she could make money up to $2,000 per trip depending on the size of the load. Federal investigators have traced Snapchat messages from Alyssa Navarro’s phone and in those messages, George promises “A lot of money” and the granting of a sufficiently large means of transportation, probably the Cherokee in which the woman was arrested.

Navarro told police he was told to meet a contact in Mexico named Alfredo, who gave him the Jeep Cherokee and asked him to refuel at gas stations along the way. He then had to leave the vehicle with another unidentified individual and take the bus home. The car would also carry electronic equipment, in order to conceal the drugs, according to a procedure common to drug cartels. In short, it looks like one of the missions offered by Grand Theft Auto!

Alyssa Navarro has been charged with conspiracy to import and sell methamphetamines, as well as possession of narcotics. Earlier this month, the woman pleaded not guilty. But that’s not the only case that seems to unite video games and drug cartels. Last October, Mexican law enforcement in Oaxaca said three minors were recruited through Free Firea popular online game for mobile devices belonging to the genre of battle royale.

Also during this period, the same police command reported that the Sinaloa Cartel used GTA Online to get in touch, at night, with minors who played the multiplayer counterpart of Grand Theft Auto V. This kind of titles, as well as games of the Battle Royale genre such as Fortnite, attract many young boys and keep them busy for many hours, even at night. L’anonymity you play is aiding recruiting efforts, with sleuths ramping up cracks against those trying to hide behind online personas to lure players in.

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