Tourists are being sold heroin test kits in Amsterdam, starting on Friday, following the death of three Britons who died after snorting a drug they thought to be cocaine.
‘Starting tomorrow the test kits will be sold in 30 smart shops which will show the presence of heroin in drugs,’ the Amsterdam-based daily Het Parool said on Thursday.
‘Tourists can also buy these test kits for two euros (£1.56) from street teams,’ the paper added.
Last week two British men, aged 20 and 21, died after they snorted ‘white heroin’, an illicit drug it is understood they believed was cocaine.
The men reportedly bought the drug from a dealer in the street in Amsterdam and were later found in a hotel room in the south of the city.
The pair’s death comes less than a month after another 22-year-old tourist, also from the UK, was found dead following a similar incident.
Police have revealed another 17 cases, at least, involving tourists taking the so called ‘white heroin’ and needing medical attention.
Respiratory failure is among the drug’s primary side effects.
Electronic signboards have been displayed with the warning: ‘Extremely dangerous cocaine is sold to tourists’.
As police carry out intensive investigations into the drug’s dealer or dealers, Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan has backed the selling of the kits in ‘smart shops’ which also sell legal herbal ‘smart’ drugs.
The mayor warned though that the heroin test kits ‘should not be
White heroin is historically produced in southeast Asia’s ‘Golden Triangle’ spanning Laos, Thailand and Cambodia and is generally purer and more expensive than brown heroin.