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Benzocaine targeted in drugs war on 'cutting agents

  1. Finn Mac Cool
    Police say they are making a major dent in drug dealers' profits by seizing large quantities of chemicals used to dilute cocaine and other class A drugs. View attachment 16088

    Pharmaceutical drugs benzocaine and lidocaine cost around £10 a kilo to buy but can be sold for up to £50,000 a kilo if mixed with some cocaine.

    But the Serious Organised Crime Agency said these mixtures can be dangerous.

    It said in some cases buyers are sold cocaine that is 100% benzocaine, so maximising profits for the dealers.

    Legitimate uses

    The national police unit has stepped up seizures of these cutting agents at ports and airports.

    Although benzocaine and lidocaine are legal substances, it is illegal to supply these chemicals to the underground drugs trade.

    The drugs are used legitimately in the UK as a dental anaesthetic and as an ingredient in first aid ointments, throat sprays and sunburn remedies.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    Drug dealers are greedy people who want to make as much profit as possible, but people will be less inclined to buy drugs as the quality gets poorer and poorer”

    End Quote Soca officer

    But drug dealers like to use it in powder form to dilute pure class A and class B drugs such as naphyrone and mephedrone because of the numbing sensation it offers when placed on the skin.

    A few months ago, officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) seized 83 barrels (two tonnes) of benzocaine in one week, the Press Association news agency reported.

    Investigators had been monitoring suspicious operations for six months previously.

    The drugs were delivered to four people at Felixstowe sea port and Stansted airport.

    That haul represented one-fifth of the UK's annual legitimate use of the drug and as the importers were unable to explain why they had wanted such a large quantity, the drugs were incinerated.

    An officer from Soca told PA that these raids were "targeted preventative measures" which would "seriously damage" the criminal market.

    He said: "It is keeping money out of the trade because they cannot maximise their profits, money that is often reinvested in criminal activity.

    "Drug dealers are greedy people who want to make as much profit as possible, but people will be less inclined to buy drugs as the quality gets poorer and poorer."

    Soca officers said the seizures had an immediate impact with no benzocaine imported in the five weeks after the raid. They said this forced up prices and affected dealers' profits.

    They also took down websites being used to sell the drugs and visitors were directed to Soca pages with a warning that they were potentially committing a crime.

    The Soca officer said: "The chemical properties of these cutting agents have enabled traffickers to target younger people in the UK, from mid-teens to early twenties, with more 'affordable' cocaine that masks its lower purity."

    But he warned customers were sometimes misled about what exactly they were buying.



  1. Wanderer
    Oh great, another victory for the "War on Drugs." Way to go fellas!

    Now dealers can use more questionable cutting agents… sheesh.
  2. Alfa
    This is truly moronic. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that anything can be mixed in, as a cutting agent and that by reducing possibilities for currently used cutting agents, this will simply mean that other substances will be used. By definition these substances are not the first choice. So all that the police is doing is changing the cutting agent used and directly endangering public health.

    The statement that people are less inclined to buy drugs if quality reduces, clearly shows that the Soca officer and possibly the National police unit is living in a fantasy world. There is no evidence of that whatsoever, and countries that have low quality drugs, surely do not have lower drug use.
  3. tashuisclay
    Swim has cut down their coke use to almost a complete stop because the quality has become so poor in this area in the last couple of years, and likewise with the amount of 'sprayed' weed that seems to be in circulation around here.
    When swim goes to source either drug, and finds the quality is poor, swim just tells the dealer that theres no sale, swim wont waste his money on bad quality.
    And maybe this is the only way that quality will maybe start to increase again, if enough people start refusing poor quality drugs, then the dealers will see that trying to stretch their profits by mixing their drugs is actually losing them customers and therefore money in the long run. Then maybe they'll stop being so greedy and make the intelligent choice of not cutting the living crap out of what they're selling
  4. steez
    Oh great, another smooth move made ours truly. Can't wait to sniff my next line of mannitol inositol and speed! Is it legitimately illegal to import benzocaine and lidocaine? Must you have a lisence of some sort to possess large quantities? and if i'm correct in thinking that you do not, does that not make these seizures being made on mere "suspicion", illegal? What if I wanted to take a nice numb lidocaine bath one night but couldn't? Just thought I'd add a wee bit of humor into all of this because of how rediculous I find it.
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