KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Mexican drug cartels are turning to online games to recruit mules to deliver their illicit product.

Mexican police revealed that youngsters were being recruited by drug cartels over popular video games, including Grand Theft Auto Online, Forbes reported.

In November, the Arizona Customs and Border Protection officials found nearly 60 kilogrammes of methamphetamine in a Jeep Cherokee. 

The driver told investigators that she started playing Grand Theft Auto Online in January where she met a man who called himself “George”.

After getting to know each other within the game, the woman said they eventually started talking on Snapchat and later met in person in Phoenix.

The driver said George asked her over Snapchat whether she would like some work as a “runner”, shipping electronics so they could be sold in Mexico, telling her she could be paid as much as US$2,000 (RM8,376) a trip depending on how big the load was.

Meanwhile, Mexican law enforcement in Oaxaca said three minors had been recruited over popular mobile battle royal game Free Fire where they were offered around US$200 (RM837) a week as cartel lookouts. 

Individuals claiming to belong to various narcotics crews, including the Sinaloa Cartel, were reaching out to children late at night on games including the online multiplayer version of Grand Theft Auto V.