20,000 'party drugs' seized in Darwen

By chillinwill · Oct 8, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    A MASSIVE haul of ‘party drugs’ has been seized from a house in Darwen.

    Around 20,000 pills with a street value of around £200,000 were discovered when officers forced entry to a terrace house in Higher Church Street near to the town centre.

    As part of a ‘Darwen Action Day’, police also raided houses in Preston Street, Frances Street and Cavendish Street, seizing 120 cannabis plants.

    Police initially thought the tablets were ecstasy, but later realised they were of a herbal nature and not illegal.

    Scientific tests are now being carried out on the haul to establish exactly what they are.

    Police said they suspected the pills were being supplied to people throughout the borough.

    A 33-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs when police believed they were ecstasy.

    However officers will look into the legal position of the pills once they establish what they are.

    So-called ‘party drugs’ have proved very controversial.

    The Government is trying to ban one ‘party drug’, called GBL amid fears it can lead to dependence, unconsciousness and even death by intoxication.

    Some parents of young people who died after taking the drug have lobbied for it to be banned, but so far it has remained legal.

    The Government has also previously announced plans to ban BZP, also known as herbal ecstasy.

    Detective Inspector Neil Ashton said: “At the moment we don’t know what kind of tablets they are, but they are legal party drugs that are readily available in shops in the area.

    “They sell for the same or more as real ecstasy tablets.

    “They certainly don’t come under the misuse of drugs act, but I know the Government are looking at restrictions.

    “Over the course of the next few days we will be looking at the legal positions on the sale and distribution of these tablets to see if there is any case to answer.”

    More than 20 police officers from across the town were involved in the operation, dubbed Darwen Action Day. Four houses were swooped on simultaneously.

    The tablets and 20 cannabis plants worth an estimated £8,000 were seized from Higher Church Street.

    In Preston Street, 100 cannabis plants, worth around £40,000, were found in the upstairs room of an unoccupied house, which has been fitted out with sophisticated heat and lighting equipment.

    A 21-year-old girl was arrested and later cautioned for a haul of 11 cannabis plants worth £4,400 found in the attic of a house in Frances Street.

    A house raided in Cavendish Street was found to be empty.

    Inspector Mark Thackeray-Scott said: “It has been a very successful operation.

    “Darwen is no worse than anywhere else for drug problems, but we are determined to fight it, and are putting more and more resources into operations like these.

    “In Darwen there is a big sense of community and a lot of law-abiding residents who are very good at tipping us off.

    “We couldn’t achieve this without the support of the public.

    “We will be carrying out drugs warrants again and again.”

    By Catherine Pye
    October 8, 2009
    This Is Lancashire

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Darwen pills seized 'are herbal ecstasy'

    A HAUL of 20,000 pills seized from a house in Darwen have been found to be ‘herbal ecstasy’.

    Police have tested one of the tablets taken from a terraced house in Higher Church Street at their forensic laboratory in Chorley, and found it to contain the chemicals Benzylpiperazine (BZP) and Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP).

    The two chemicals are currently legal and frequently used together for ecstasy-like effects, police said.

    They are known as ‘herbal ecstasy’.

    The pills were found during a raid by a team of officers from across Darwen, who estimate the haul to be worth up to £200,000.

    BZP, which is also known as Benny Bear, Frenzy, Nemesis and Hummer, will be outlawed by the Home Office at the end of the year after being linked to several deaths.

    Legislation on TFMPP is being reviewed.

    Drugs experts in Lancashire say these type of drugs were relatively new to the market and the long term effects were as yet unknown.

    Chris Hudson at drugs service Frank, said: “Just because they are legal to possess doesn’t mean they are safe.

    Legal highs can contain a range of potentially dangerous chemicals, and their chemical makeup changes all the time. So you can never be 100 per cent certain what you have bought, and what the effects might be.

    “The chemicals in legal highs have, in most cases, never before been used as drugs, so have had no tests performed on them to show that they are safe. Nor do they have a long history of use, so that health problems would have become apparent.

    “Legal highs can carry serious health risks and early studies suggest that you can become dependent. It is very similar to amphetamine use.”

    ‘Legal high’ pills sell for between £5 and £10 online and in shops.

    BZP is also used to make plastics, resins, pesticides, brake fluid and a variety of materials and products.

    It can also be found in worming agents for pets and farm animals.

    Police will continue to test the full batch of drugs over coming days.

    A 33-year-old woman has been bailed by Lancashire police pending further inquiries in connection with the inquiry.


    emphasis mine
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