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Deadly cocktail at ‘purification ceremony’ may have killed 34 year old woman

Drug officers believe a 34 year old Latvian woman may have died from a fatal cocktail of psychotropic drugs and alcohol during a ‘purification ritual’ in Aradippou.

The woman was taken to Larnaca Hospital on Tuesday where she was declared dead on arrival. Tests continue to establish the cause of death.

A 50 year old  Russian woman was on Thursday remanded in custody for six days as a suspect in the case. Police are also looking for a man in connection with the case.

Spokesman and deputy head of police’s anti-narcotics unit (YKAN)  Stelios Sergides told Radio Active that this was the first time that his team had come across such a case.

“We will await for the results of the histopathological tests to see whether the drug we suspect was used. The name of the ritual refers to a substance which is an illegal plant that has strong psychotropic properties and is a hallucinogenic. It is best not to refer to the name of the substance,” he said.

Police caution everyone not to participate in such ceremonies or to consumer beverages or other substances with the promise that they will be feel better.

“Illegal plant, synthetic or chemical substances are very toxic and can affect each person differently,” he said.

Sergides confirmed that more than one person had taken part in the Aradippou ceremony where there are indications this substance which led to the death of the 34 year old woman was consumed.

He added that there are suspicions as to where the substance had been obtained and this was under investigation. Drug officers are looking for a third country national on suspicion of possessing this substance, he said.

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