- Scopolamine or 'Devil's Breath' is used by muggers and sexual predators
- Blown into people's faces it can wipe memories, eliminate free will and even kill
- It has only been used in mainland Europe but UK incident was reported last week
- Chinese e-marketplace Alibaba.com is selling it for as cheap as £11 a gram
Published: 10:34 EST, 25 December 2017 | Updated: 10:34 EST, 25 December 2017
A South American 'zombie' chemical branded the most dangerous date rape drug in the world has reportedly reached the UK – and can be bought online for as little as £11.
Scopolamine, also known as hyoscine or 'Devil's Breath', is made from Borrachero trees in Colombia, and used throughout the country to aid sexual predators and robbers.
The odourless powder is blown into people's faces, which once inhaled can cause victims to lose their memory, free will, and in high enough doses, can even kill.
In the past two years cases have been reported in Spain, France and the US. But last month, UK actor Robert Lindsay told Met Police a young woman he knew was attacked with a substance bearing a chilling resemblance to 'Devil's Breath' outside a London night club.
Scopolamine is not a controlled substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, which means it's legal to buy online.
Scopolamine is not a controlled substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act, which means it's legal to buy online. It is freely available on Chinese e-marketplace Alibaba.com (pictured), which ships to the UK
While there are restrictions on minimum orders and courier shipping may take a while, one European seller is offering 1g of the drug for just $15 (£11.19). Shipping from China prices range from $20 (£14.91) for 100g to $1,500 (£1,118.55) for a 1kg
It is widely available on the Chinese website Alibaba.com, which ships it anywhere in the world from mainland China and Ukraine.
While there are restrictions on minimum orders, you have to be a registered business, and courier shipping may take a while, one European seller is offering 1g of the drug for just $15 (£11.19).
Shipping from China prices range from $20 (£14.91) for 100g to $1,500 (£1,118.55) for a 1kg.
MailOnline has contacted Alibaba for comment.
According to the National Institute for Health and Clinic Excellence (NICE), small doses of the drug are used to treat nausea and more serious conditions like Cerebral palsy and Alzheimer's.
As of 2017 it does not have a licence allowing it to be mass-marketed in the UK, but doctors can prescribe it in accordance with General Medical Council guidelines.
Scopolamine, also known as hyoscine or 'Devil's Breath', is made from Borrachero trees (pictured) in Colombia, and used throughout the country to aid sexual predators and robbers
My Family actor Robert Linsday tweeted last month to report a friend's daughter had been attacked with a substance with a chilling resemblance to Scopolamine
The drug, also referred to as Burundanga in its native Colombia, is almost impossible to detect, as it disappears from the blood stream in two to six hours and can only be found in urine samples within 12.
This makes it extremely difficult for victims to prove they have been given it – as they don't remember anything and it's untraceable in their system.
Referring to an incident in late November, My Family star Lindsay, 67 wrote on Twitter: 'WARNING! A friend's daughter was recently approached by 3 men outside a London club and a substance blown into her face, in her shock she inhaled.
'Friends came to her aid but within seconds she lost all her sense and couldn't remember a thing. It was a date rape drug. She was saved but girls beware.'
Commenting on his report the Met Police told MailOnline: 'Met Police has not made any seizures of the drug Devil's Breath or scopolamine in the past year.
'We encourage anyone who suspects they have been drugged to contact police.'
The odourless powder is blown into people's faces, which once inhaled can cause victims to lose their memory, free will, and in high enough doses, can even kill
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warns UK tourists in Colombia and Ecuador of 'criminals who use scopolamine to subdue their victims'.
The travel advice for Colombia reads: 'Scopolamine temporarily incapacitates unsuspecting victims.
IS DEVIL'S BREATH REALLY LEGAL?
Scopolamine, otherwise known as hyoscine or 'Devil's Breath' is not a controlled substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
This means it does not have 'illegal status', and although dangerous, can be shipped to the UK.
It can be bought online on Chinese eBay-style website Alibaba.com.
As long as you have a registered business, UK customers can contact sellers in China and Europe and get quotes for the drug in powder or flower form.
It can then be shipped and successfully passed through the UK border.
'Victims become disoriented quickly and are vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault, rape and other crimes.'
Visitors to Quito, Ecuador are warned: 'Criminals often use drugs to subdue victims.
'Home-made versions of the drug 'scopolamine' leave victims in a subdued, compliant state and cause amnesia.'
A male victim from Jackson Heights, New York, believes he fell prey to the drug after going to a bar for a drink and waking up the next morning later in his bed with no memory and hundreds of dollars withdrawn from his bank account.
The last suspected cases of the drug being used in Europe were in Marbella, Spain a year ago.
A 19-year-old girl was allegedly raped after inhaling the substance near the resort of Puerto Banus in the early hours of New Year's Day 2017.
A 20-year-old girl then reported being raped on waste ground near Estepona after arranging to meet a French man she found on Facebook.
In late 2015 French police investigated two Chinese women, 42 and 59, and a man, 56, for using scopolamine to rob dozens of victims in Paris.
A Colombian drug dealer called Demencia Black spoke to Vice about how the drug is used to aid criminal activity. He said: 'You can guide them wherever you want…It's like they're a child.'
One was forced to hand over 100,000 euros (£87,815) after being hoodwinked by the drug, reported French newspaper Le Parisien.
A Colombian drug dealer called Demencia Black spoke to Vice about how the drug is used to aid criminal activity.
He said: 'You can guide them wherever you want…It's like they're a child.'
He compared 1g of scopolamine to 1g of cocaine, but warned 'in high doses, it is lethal'.
In ancient times it was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master's grave, where they were buried alive.
During the Cold War the CIA and KGB are said to have use duty as a truth serum while Nazi 'Angel of Death'
The Soviets and the CIA reportedly used it as a truth serum during the Cold War, while Auschwitz 'Angel of Death' Joseph Mengeles is said to have had it imported from South America for personal use and the Gestapo.
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