Police in Malia and Chersonissos on the island of Crete arrested one Greek and two young British nationals for illegally trading laughing gas.
The 62-year-old Greek is owner of a cafe-bar who next to coffee and drinks was offering also bulbs with laughing gas to customers keen to spend a night in euphoria.
During the raid in the cafe-bar in the early morning hour of Saturday, police found and confiscated several bulbs with laughing gas as well as balloons, devices to fill the balloons with gas and 110 euros that police suspected was earned form the illicit trade.
A day earlier, police arrested two UK nationals, both women 21 and 23 years old in Chersonissos, Herakleio. The women were found to be in possession of 13 bulbs containing laughing gas as well as in possession of devices to fill up the balloons which they were selling to customers of local bars.
The two were about to sell the laughing gas bulbs to customers of local night life entertainment facilities, police said in a statement. They were arrested short after midnight on Friday and were taken to prosecutor. Investigation continues.
Greek authorities went on alert and decided to crack down the trade of laughing gas, after reports that a 18-year-old British girl had fallen in coma after consuming ‘laughing gas’ together with alcohol while on her last vacation night in Malia. It turned out that the girl was infected with meningitis. But authorities decided to proceed with the fight against laughing gas that can cause brain damages if consumed without control
The use of the drug has become very popular among young people, especially on some Greek islands.
After the killing of 22-year-old US tourist Bakari Henderson in Laganas on the island of Zakynthos on July 7th, Greek media flooded TV screens with reports about young tourists’ excesses after consuming cheap alcohol and laughing gas. A pop of nitrous oxide also called ‘hippie crack’ is reportedly sold for less than two British Pounds. In one report, a bar owner – If I ‘m not wrong- said ‘the use of the substance is legal’. It is also used a whipped-cream charger.
As some resorts on the Greek islands struggle to limit violent outbreaks among tourists, authorities set to take the situation under control and started with to confiscate laughing gas bulbs.
In Corfu, police seized 3,089 bulbs and arrested eight people for selling laughing gas in bars and cafes.
In Zakynthos, police arrested nine people – 5 Greeks and 4 foreigners- and confiscated 6,541 pops.
Among the arrested are bar and cafes owners but also street vendors. They face charges for illegal trade and food adulteration.