Police alert after toxic drug find

Grampian Police have issued a warning to the public after finding quantities of a Class ‘A’ drug, linked with 19 deaths on mainland Europe, at a location in Fraserburgh.

The substance - known as ParaMethoxy MethylAmphetamine or PMMA - was subject to an earlier alert issued by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, which described the substance as a ‘highly toxic stimulant drug’.

Police say the drug, which has been detected in powder and tablet form in the UK and abroad, is sometimes passed off by dealers as a ‘legal high’. PMMA has been identified in pink tablets with a Rolex Crown logo and white tablets with a four-leaf clover logo. However, the substance seized in Fraserburgh was found as a white, solidly compressed powder, similar in appearance to ‘Crack’ Cocaine.

It was described by police as having been found in a ‘small, dealer quantity’, and officers suspect it may have been supplied as Ecstasy or Amphetamine.

Inspector Andy Imray, Substance Misuse Co-ordinator for Grampian Police, said it was worrying that the drug had been found in the North East. “Very little is known about this drug and the variety of forms it has been detected in is extremely concerning”, he said. “Users of any controlled or uncontrolled substance, not only those taking recreational drugs, need to be alert to the presence of PMMA and the very serious risks it presents to their health and wellbeing.”

Commenting on behalf of ACPOS, Detective Inspector Tommy Crombie, National Drugs Coordinator for the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency said “PMMA is a stimulant drug similar to ecstasy, but it is not as potent. Users may believe they have taken a ‘weak’ ecstasy tablet, when they have actually taken a tablet containing this highly toxic substance. They may then be tempted to take more tablets to achieve the desired effect, increasing the risk of a potentially fatal overdose.

Anyone with information on the supply of PMMA or any substance suspected to contain the drug is asked to contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700, or the charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111. Anyone who has suffered detrimental effects after taking a substance is urged to seek medical attention.