Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Netherlands: Amsterdam Police Warn Tourists That White Heroin is Being Sold as Cocaine

According to the UK-based The Telegraph, two British men, ages 20 and 21, were found dead in a hotel on Wednesday (November 26) after snorting heroin, which causes respiratory failure if inhaled, in the apparent belief that the substance was cocaine

Late last month a 22-year-old British tourist also died in Amsterdam after taking white heroin, a crystalline form of the opiate drug that is usually injected by users. 

Police have put up flashing electronic English language signs at entry points to central Amsterdam in an attempt to stop the deadly trade by warning British tourists of buying “extremely dangerous cocaine."

“The men apparently died after sniffing white heroin which they may have thought to be cocaine,” said Rob van der Veen, a spokesman for the Amsterdam police.

“We found drugs in the hotel room and immediately had it tested to see if the composition was the same as other investigations into deaths and people getting sick, and that proved to be the case.”  

COMMENT: As well as the three deaths, 14 people, mostly British, have needed medical treatment after using white heroin in the belief it was cocaine.  

Dutch investigators believe British tourists are being targeted by the same street dealer, or drug gang, who might not be aware that he is selling white heroin. 

“We assume that it’s only one person who’s selling this,” said Van der Veen. 

“White heroin is more expensive than cocaine, so that’s not smart, we are working on the assumption that the dealer doesn’t know exactly what he’s selling.” 

Leaflets warning British tourists are being handed out fliers at Amsterdam's Central railway station, hotels and hostels and the city’s main squares. 

“Over the last couple of weeks several tourists were admitted to hospital with severe health problems after using cocaine bought on the street,” said the leaflet.

“Research has revealed that the cocaine used was not cocaine, but white heroin…You won't be arrested for taking drugs."

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