A criminal gang in Gibraltar has been found with significant quantities of “pink cocaine”, a dangerous drug that is sweeping across Europe and into the United Kingdom.
Police raids which took place this summer in Campo de Gibraltar, tethered to the southern tip of Spain, found 19 people accused of belonging to criminal organisations, as well as 20 victims of sexual exploitation, most of whom were women.
The police operation had been named “Tusi”, another title for “pink cocaine” and a play on the word “2CB”, a drug that combines MDMA and LSD.
The drugs gang is one of many affiliated with this new substance and that also has strong ties to the illegal sex trade.
The new “pink cocaine” is an incredibly dangerous synthetic made up of an often unpredictable concoction of drugs, and criminal gangs are starting to bring it into Europe and the UK.
The raid took place in July and led the local Gibraltar police to carry out 14 searches and raids on properties across two cities.
The operation was looking for “Tusi”, a synthetic substance that originated in South America and is slowly making its way to Europe.
The National Police had already seized in their searches significant quantities of this substance, as well as utensils for the preparation of doses in small laboratories and huge wads of cash.
Since its creation around 2010, the drug has morphed into an unpredictable mix containing varying proportions of ketamine (horse tranquiliser) and MDMA, bulked out with caffeine.
A combination of both psychotropic substances causes hallucinogenic effects on the one hand, and a feeling of euphoria on the other.
As with most drugs of this type, it increases the false sense of control and perfection of abilities, which is nothing more than a very high state of nervousness and excitement, which with pink cocaine becomes particularly intense.
According to experts, it is potentially more dangerous than cocaine or meth because of the level of addiction it creates and because it triggers episodes of panic, anxiety attacks, depression, emotional disturbances and depersonalisation.
A report from the United Nations has said the drug has already been found in Spain, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.
It was discovered at a UK festival last year, prompting drug checking charity The Loop to issue a warning.
“Powder sold as ‘pink tusi’ has been tested on-site @lostvillagefest,” the warning read.
One user has since told The Sun that the drug is “all the rage in clubs and at after-parties” in Manchester and Sheffield.
They said: “It used to be really hard to get your hands on but it’s easier to find now, so everyone is keen to have a snort and see what it’s like.”