Toxic ecstasy tablets seized by PSNI

Substance is being linked to eight recent unexplained deaths

PSNI detective superintendant Phill Martalks to reporters  following the sudden deaths of eight people. Police are investigating to establish whether those who died took a tablet that they thought was ecstasy. Photograph: PA

PSNI detective superintendant Phill Martalks to reporters following the sudden deaths of eight people. Police are investigating to establish whether those who died took a tablet that they thought was ecstasy. Photograph: PA

Thu, Jul 4, 2013, 10:47

Ecstasy tablets contaminated with highly toxic chemicals have been seized by police in Northern Ireland.

The mixture dubbed “Green Rolexes” could be particularly hazardous to health and has been linked with numerous deaths worldwide, the force said.

The warning came as investigators await the results of forensic tests in connection with eight recent unexplained deaths where drugs are suspected.

PSNI detective inspector Andy Dunlop said: “Both dealers and users may be unaware that what they believe to be Ecstasy actually contains PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine).

“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 over-heating of the body.

These chemicals have also been found in numerous other coloured pills bearing different logos throughout Great Britain, Europe and in Canada.

Mr Dunlop added: “They have been directly linked to death. There is no such thing as a safe drug or a safe dose.”