Victims still suffering from after-effects of drug-laced coffee

06 Feb 2018 / 16:22 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Two of the seven victims who had fallen ill after drinking white coffee – laced with drugs, continue to suffer from aches and dizziness following their discharge from the Penang Hospital.
In an interview with theSun, Nepalese security guard Bishnu Shrestha, aged 31, said he still suffered from body aches after drinking the coffee.
"I still wake up at night and suffer from dizziness since I was discharged from the Penang Hospital," said Bishnu.
He also said that he felt numb occasionally.
Another victim Mangal Prasad Sakopta, 45, said that he still feels nauseous whenever he smells durian or other 4-in-1 premix drinks.
Police believe that the sachets are from one particular packet which was left abandoned by a synthetic specialist narcotic syndicate in Air Itam.
Somehow the packet filled with tainted coffee sachets found its way to Pulau Tikus, some eight kilometres away where the first puzzling cases of people becoming delirious after consuming the hot beverage, was detected.
Northeast district police head ACP Anuar Omar confirmed that seven people suffered a form of delirium and were initially admitted for treatment at the Penang Hospital.
They were released after several hours of treatment.
Out of the seven, an 18-year-old teenager had however fled the hospital after recovering, and disappeared before the police could take down his particulars.
At coffee shops in Pulau Tikus, the hawkers and patrons cannot recall seeing anyone handing out free packets.
"We are customers of the white coffee and durian white coffee mixture. There is no problem," several patrons said.
Penang Consumer Protection Association president Datuk K. Koris Atan wants the Health Ministry to temporarily withdraw all white coffee premix mixture brands from being sold pending a comprehensive review.
Koris understands that the police have detected cases of syndicates hiding drugs inside commercial food and beverage brands to sell to their clientele.
"This is one case where such tactics have gone on to harm unsuspecting consumers. The innocent are falling ill."
Therefore, there needs to be a comprehensive review of the safety and quality standards in white coffee products, Koris said, adding that quick action was needed by the authorities to prevent the innocent producers from becoming further victimized by these rogue syndicates.
He also wants the health authorities to ensure that the production and distribution channels for such products are secured and not infiltrated by drug peddlers, who are out to smuggle through their products.

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