Police take down 900 Instagram accounts for selling illegal fireworks

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Hundreds of kilos of illegal fireworks found in home on Koestraat in Axel, 29 July 2016 (Photo: Politie). (Hundreds of kilos of illegal fireworks found in home on Koestraat in Axel, 29 July 2016 (Photo: Politie))

The police tracked down 900 Instagram accounts on which illegal fireworks are sold. These accounts will be taken down in cooperation with Instagram over the coming days, the police said in a statement on Tuesday. The police are working on identifying the persons behind the accounts.

The accounts were identified with the help of the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and national fireworks project Oorworm. The police kept an eye on the sale of fireworks on Instagram with a number of undercover accounts. On Tuesday these accounts were converted to be recognizably from the police. 

The police posted a message to the 900 identified accounts informing them that they are being watched, that they are guilty of a criminal offense, and must halt it immediately. 

"With this action the police want to make it clear that the internet is not a safe, anonymous environment for people who trade in fireworks. This action is one of the ways to disrupt and frustrate online trade on Instagram in illegal fireworks", the police said. 

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