Drug users in the north east of England have been warned about a batch of heroin thought to be contaminated with fentanyl or carfentanyl after an addict died in the region.
In a statement on its website, Cleveland Police linked the death of a 34-year-old man on Sunday to the possible circulation of heroin mixed with the deadly synthetic opioids, which are increasingly being added to street drugs such as heroin and cocaine in a bid by traffickers and dealers to maximise their profits.
The force said a possible contaminated batch of heroin might also be behind the condition of a woman who is currently critically ill in hospital.
The 30-year-old woman was admitted to hospital on Saturday and was yesterday still receiving treatment for her condition.
A police spokesperson said the force is currently awaiting the results of toxicology tests to establish if the man and women had taken drugs contaminated with fentanyl or carfentanyl.
“Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than street heroin with carfentanyl 100 times more potent than that,” Cleveland Police said.
“Fentanyl is an anaesthesia used to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures. It has the same effects as morphine but is significantly more powerful. Carfentanyl is used on animals.
“Anyone who has information about drugs activity in their area is asked to contact police.”
While fentanyl and carfentanyl have long posed a threat to addicts in the US, where both substances have played a major role in the country’s spiralling opioid crisis, overdose deaths linked to the drugs are on the rise in England and Wales.
At the beginning of August, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the number of drug overdose deaths in which fentanyl played a role increased by 29% in 2017.
There were 75 fentanyl-related deaths last year, up from 58 in 2016.
The ONS noted that carfentanyl was mentioned for the first time in death certificates in England and Wales last year, and was logged as having played a part in 27 deaths.
Commenting on the figures, Ellie Osborn, Health Analysis Statistician at the ONS, said: “The figures published today show that the level of drug poisoning deaths in 2017 remained stable.
“However, despite deaths from most opiates declining or remaining steady, deaths from fentanyl continued to rise, as did cocaine deaths, which increased for the sixth consecutive year.”
Hewlett Packard seizes counterfeit products worth $11 million in India as part of its global anti-fraud programme
US technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) has seized counterfeit products worth INR 80 Crores ($11.26 million) in India over the course of the past year as part of its global Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) programme.
Releasing information about the last 12 months of the campaign in India as part of its efforts to raise awareness of the extent of the piracy of printing supplies in the country, HP revealed that the Delhi-National Capital Region leads the nation in terms of seizure value, with confiscations worth 33.5 Crores taking place there over the past year.
Bangalore finished the year in second place with seizures of INR 22 Crores, followed by Mumbai and Chennai with 6.5 and INR 3.5 Crores, respectively.
HP worked with police across the country to carry out raids on more than 170 premises, resulting in the arrest of over 140 suspects and the seizure of completed and unfinished bogus cartridges, counterfeit packaging materials, and various sets of labels that were used during the manufacture of HP print supplies.
Noting in a statement that counterfeit print supplies can pose a significant business risk to companies that use them in the form of printer damage and associated downtime, HP said it works in close cooperation with law enforcement agencies the world over to crack down on counterfeiters that produce fake versions of its products.
Back in June, a survey commissioned by HP revealed that businesses around the world were at a greater risk of being sold fake printer supplies than ever before.
The poll, which was carried out on behalf of HP by market research firm Harris Interactive, found the availability of counterfeit printer products was being driven by an increasingly broad supplier ecosystem, a lack of certainty among buyers that their purchases were genuine, and an absence of awareness of the risks of using counterfeit goods.
The study showed that $3 billion is lost every year to counterfeit print products.
Speaking at the time, Glenn Jones, Director of HP’s ACF programme, commented: “Every one of the key market indicators we monitor show a significant increase in the risk of counterfeit print supplies.
“For companies like HP, counterfeits undermine decades of focused research and testing aimed at creating superior ink and toner, and reliable, high-quality cartridges for our customers.
“For users, fakes cause a significant increase in print failures, low page yield, poor print quality, leaks and clogs, in addition to voiding hardware warranties.”
Woman carrying container of crystal meth inside her vagina arrested on US/Mexico border
Customs agents working om the US/Mexico border have arrested a woman who was found to be carrying more than 22 grams of methamphetamine concealed inside her vagina.
Last Thursday afternoon, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Paso Del Norte crossing stopped a 32-year-old US woman who was attempting to cross into America on foot.
Having taken the woman to one side for additional searches, the agents used a sniffer dog to establish whether or not she was carrying any contraband.
After the dog alerted its handlers to the area below the woman’s midriff, a more detailed search revealed that she had partially concealed a cylindrical container that was holding a quantity of methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity.
Investigators also discovered two other packages of drugs concealed about her person.
Once tests had confirmed the substance was methamphetamine, the woman was handed over to US Customs and Immigration Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations agents, who charged her with the botched smuggling attempt.
In a statement, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said: “Homeland security is our primary mission however the vigilance and attention to detail applied by the CBP workforce routinely uncovers drug smuggling cases as well.
“Every drug load we stop helps keep our local community safe as well as those in America’s heartland.”
The seizure was one of 14 drug confiscations made by CBP agents working at ports of entry in El Paso, west Texas, last week, which included more than 405kgs of cannabis, over 16kgs of cocaine, and a total of in excess of 23kgs of methamphetamine.
Earlier this month, it was reported that border agents at Nepal’s Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport had arrested a man after catching him with 1kg of gold plugged inside his backside.
Chinese national Sa Luitui, 22, was asked to step to one side having alighted from a Tibet Air flight from his home country by customs workers who noticed he was walking in a peculiar fashion.
Attempting to smuggle even relatively small amounts of drugs internally can have catastrophic consequences, including serious injury and death.
Back in January 2016, Metro reported that an Iraq veteran from the UK had died after hiding a bag of cocaine inside his rectum to prevent his girlfriend from discovering he was bringing drugs into her home.
A coroner ruled that Geraint Jones, 32, died of a heart attack after the drugs were absorbed into his soft tissue.
UK consumers warned of counterfeit toys that could cause physical harm to children
The UK’s Local Government Association has warned consumers in England and Wales to be on the lookout for dangerous fake toys in the run-up to Christmas.
In a statement issued after a string of seizures of hazardous counterfeit toys over the past few weeks, the Association, which represents local councils across England and Wales, cautioned shoppers to be alert to the tell-tale signs that products aimed at children might be bogus.
Trading standards investigators in the UK recently confiscated electric scooters that came without any safety documentation, tens of thousands teddy bears that posed a choking hazard, and audio products that exceeded legal decibel limits that had the potential to cause damage to children’s hearing.
The association also warned of fake versions of L.O.L Surprise! Dolls, which were the “must-have” gift over last year’s festive period, that were found to contain phthalates, a chemical that can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.
Consumers should also exercise caution when looking to take advantage of last-minute offers online for products that have sold out at mainstream retailers, as these are oftentimes run by scammers who will take shoppers money and send nothing in return, the association said.
Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, commented: “Christmas is a hotbed for criminals who put profit before safety by selling dangerous, counterfeit toys at cheap prices to unsuspecting shoppers.
“Bargain hunters need to be aware that fake, substandard toys can break and cause injuries or pose choking hazards, toxic materials can cause burns and serious harm, while illegal electrical toys can lead to fires or electrocution.
“It’s not unusual for rogue sellers to cash in on desperate shoppers by selling fake versions of ‘must-have’ toys sold out in well-known retailers, or claim to have them in stock on their website when they actually don’t exist.
Much as it is for retailers the world over, the Christmas period is one of the busiest and most profitable times of year for fraudsters and counterfeiters.
At the end of November, a toy importer in Los Angeles was charged with making and possessing more than $1.4 million in counterfeit goods, including toys, backpacks and playing cards.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that Wan Piao had been charged with seven felony counts of the infringement of intellectual property rights, affecting brands such as Pokémon, Hello Kitty, Angry Birds, Lego Ninjago, JanSport, Shopkins and Super Mario.
- Hewlett Packard seizes counterfeit products worth $11 million in India as part of its global anti-fraud programme
- Woman carrying container of crystal meth inside her vagina arrested on US/Mexico border
- UK consumers warned of counterfeit toys that could cause physical harm to children
- Interpol gathers experts in Singapore for conference on wildlife crime
- Colombian and Spanish police smash two drug labs capable of producing two tonnes of cocaine a month
9 February 2018
9 February 2018
8 February 2018
28 November 2017
28 November 2017
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