DRUG dealers are flogging kilos of cocaine by brazenly advertising on Instagram - and promising to deliver faster than a takeaway.

The dial-a-drug services openly use the popular site, with one dealer boasting they could get a packet of cocaine to Kemptown in 20 minutes - quicker than ordering a pizza.

While another offered to deliver almost £50,000 worth of the Class A drug in the middle of the day.

Dealers openly use the popular site, offering "safe delivery" to underage teenagers, an Argus investigation has found.

The Argus uncovered dozens of accounts advertising cocaine, marijuana, LSD and magic mushrooms on Instagram.

The Argus: An Instagram account offering cocaine with 'fast and safe' service in Brighton An Instagram account offering cocaine with 'fast and safe' service in Brighton

Our reporter then contacted the dealers through encrypted messaging service Wickr, with one offering him almost 30 different strains of cannabis.

Another sent a price list for cocaine - complete with snowflake emojis - with prices starting at £100 for a gram and going up to boxes worth £41,000.

They promised to complete the deals in broad daylight, in the shadow of some of the city's biggest attractions.

Instagram has since deleted all of the accounts revealed by The Argus as violating its rules, which include buying, selling, trading, donating or soliciting drugs.

Brighton and Hove is the number one spot in the UK for county lines, resulting in a plague of drug deaths and exploitation.

This is due, in part, to its proximity to London and appetite for powerful and profitable drugs such as cocaine.

Sussex Police is cracking down on county line gangs, arresting 31 people and seizing £9,000 worth of illegal drugs as part of a wider operation last week.

During the week of action, 57 “cuckooed” homes were visited by law enforcement, and vulnerable people were safeguarded.

Arrests were made for class A drugs supply offences, possession of offensive weapons including a lock knife and a samurai-style sword, and money laundering.

Class A drugs and cannabis with an estimated street value of some £6,500 were seized along with £4,250 cash and 35 mobile phones were seized from suspects.

Detective Chief Inspector Will Rolls said: "County line drug dealing continues to be a threat with currently 30 county lines active across Sussex.

"The force's primary concern remains the exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable adults and children.

"Even during the recent lockdowns we continued every day to disrupt dealers who try to deal dangerous drugs across our communities, and we target those who use children to sell drugs or those who buy drugs from children.

“We investigate and prosecute, working relentlessly and targeting those."

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which claims to have 40,000 people working on safety and security, including over 15,000 dedicated content reviewers

A Facebook spokesman said: "We’ve removed all of the accounts flagged to us by The Argus.

"Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we use a combination of technology and human review to remove it.

"Between April and June we removed 2.3 million pieces of drug sales content, over 95 per cent before it was reported to us, and we work closely with law enforcement and youth organisations to help us continually improve.

"We’re exploring new ways to support people who search for this content in the UK, and hope to have an update soon."

Wickr was also contacted for comment.

  • We passionately believe in the value of good trusted journalism and providing in-depth local news coverage. If you share that belief you can experience the benefits of unlimited advert-light news access from journalists you know and trust on your favourite devices - subscribe today.