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NI police warn of 'highly toxic chemicals' in batch of ecstasy tablets

The chemical PMMA, contained in the ‘Green Rolexes’, is particularly dangerous and has been directly linked to deaths.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA Photos

THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has again issued a warning concerning ecstasy pills referred to as ‘Green Rolexes’.

The warning comes after forensic analysis today revealed that recently seized pills have been found to contain the highly toxic chemicals PMA and PMMA as well as ecstasy.

Commenting on the results, Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop of the PSNIs Organised Crime Branch said that the combination of MDMA (ecstasy) and PMA can be “particularly hazardous to health and has been linked with numerous deaths world-wide”.

PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine) is particularly toxic. Both dealers and users may be unaware that what they believe to be ecstasy, actually contains PMMA. PMMA pills are slower to take effect. This may cause the user to take more – which can lead to seizures, convulsions, heart attack and ultimately death. The predominant symptom of fatalities around the globe has been hyperthermia (over-heating of the body).

Dunlop said that police do not want people to think that all other drugs are safe as these chemicals have been found in numerous other coloured pills bearing different logots throughout Britain, Europe and in Canada.

“They have been directly linked to death,” he stressed.  ”There is no such thing as a safe drug or a safe dose. Anyone found suffering ill-effects after having taken drugs should be treated as a medical emergency. PMA is slow to take effect. Users taking more of the same place themselves at significant risk”.

Police are still awaiting the results of forensic tests in connection with the eight unexplained deaths currently under investigation.

They have urged the public to provide the police with any information they may have regarding drugs supply by contacting the PSNI on 0845 600 8000 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Read: Warning issued over ‘Russian Roulette’ tablets in Belfast>

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