Berlin - A German chemicals dealer who claims he never knew addicts were buying his solvents to sniff went on trial Monday for selling 7 tonnes of gamma-butyrolacton (GBL), a synthetic drug sometimes dubbed "liquid ecstasy."
Police arrested him last July, then raided homes and offices in January in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland to shut down what they called the rest of a GBL-trafficking ring.
Just one millilitre of GBL can make people feel euphoric and large amounts make them dizzy. Five deaths were caused by overdoses with the dealer's GBL, police in the city of Nuremberg said.
But lawyers for the defendant, 32, said he had thought all the buyers of his GBL were using it or re-selling it as a cleaning material. It also dissolves dirt, paint and superglue.
The defendant faces 7,800 separate counts of breaching German pharmaceuticals laws. The trial is expected to run until December.
Mon, 28 Jun 2010 16:46:32 GMT