Social networking site Facebook is becoming a hunting ground for recruiting Malaysian girls as drug mules by international syndicates, a senior minister has warned.
Malaysia is alarmed that more varsity-age Malaysian girls using Facebook were being lured by drug syndicates' promises of significant rewards to ferry drugs for them, Deputy Foreign Minister Richard Riot Jaem said.
"Most victims are befriended through Facebook. It (Facebook) can be a good friend. But it's also a dangerous friend," Richard said, adding that his ministry had found that most of the victims were befriended by syndicate members of African origin.
He said that syndicates, after befriending their victims, would offer to pay for 'holidays' overseas, usually China, Japan and Latin America, some offering the mules thousands of dollars in pocket money to spend on the trip.
International survey firm TNS last month reported that Malaysians had the most 'friends' on Facebook and spent nine hours daily on an average surfing the profile of more than 500 millions members.
Richard said the drug mule situation was turning "from bad to worse".
He said 785 of 1560 Malaysians arrested overseas since 1991 were drug mules of which 149 were women.
Of those, 70 have been sentenced to death for trafficking of illicit drugs.