POLICE have closed an Alicante shop selling herbs, tablets and powders banned from sale in Spain.
The shop assistant was arrested and takings of €1,500 confiscated. Around half-a-kilo of assorted herbs were impounded, together with 100 pills and capsules and 100 grammes of “powdery substances.”
The shop came under police surveillance after flyers comparing the effects of its products to ecstasy, speed, cocaine and marijuana were distributed amongst university students.
Some of the products – all illegal in Spain – were advertised as “Buy one, get one free” special offers.
There were grave dangers attached to the substances available in the Alicante shop, warned the AEMPS government agency which assesses medicine and medical products.
The health risks – long, medium and short-term – were still largely unknown, said the AEMPS, but people who had taken the herbs and other products had later complained of a wide range of symptoms.
These included insomnia, loss of appetite, stomach disorders, dizziness, vertigo, dilated pupils, raised body temperature and high blood pressure as well palpitations and other heart conditions.
Manifestations of mental confusion, anxiety, paranoia and aggressive behaviour had also been detected, along with cravings, teeth-grinding, involuntary eye movements and muscular spasms in the jaw, neck and thorax.
The operation was ongoing and further arrests were not ruled out, police sources revealed.