Police await tests over unexplained deaths amid fresh warning on deadly 'Green Rolex' pills
Cops land a number of seizures of pills over the last few days
Police have issued a fresh warning over potentially lethal 'Green Rolex' ecstasy tablets amid a number of new seizures in Co Antrim.
Officers are also waiting on the results of forensic tests in connection with a series of unexplained deaths of people in their 20s and 30s.
There remain fears that the pills - which contain highly toxic chemicals - could be responsible.
The easily identifiable tablets - green and stamped with a crown - are said to contain potentially deadly chemicals including PMA and PMMA.
Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop of the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch said that "despite previous warnings and continued uncertainty" surrounding the causes of recent deaths "people are continuing to put their lives at risk".
"The combination of MDMA (ecstasy) and PMA can be particularly hazardous to health and has been linked with numerous deaths world-wide," he said.
"PMMA (paramethoxymethamphetamine) is particularly toxic. Both dealers and users may be unaware that what they believe to be ecstasy actually contains PMMA.
"PMMA pills are slower to take effect. This may cause the user to take more – which can lead to seizures, convulsions, heart attack and ultimately death."
The PSNI are continuing to investigate the recent spate of eight sudden deaths - seven of which happened in the Greater Belfast area - which may be linked to illegal substances.
Two of the deaths have already been linked to the lethal batch of fake ecstasy tablets.
The pills have also been linked to seven deaths of young people in Scotland over the last few months.
Mr Dunlop said that the chemicals had also been found in other pills bearing different logos - found throughout the UK and Europe.
"They have been directly linked to death. Anyone found suffering ill-effects after having taken drugs should be treated as a medical emergency," he said.
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