BAGS full of contaminated ingredients used to conjure up cocktails were discovered in drains by Spanish police in Barcelona.
Laboratory tests show that some of the stash was found to have traces of E.coli, which is a bacteria from faeces and, when ingested, can cause gastroenteritis. In some cases death.
Officers from the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Guardia Civil of Barcelona and the Beaches Unit of the city’s Urban Guard, found the products hidden in public drain and sewers near beaches.
Speaking to Spanish press, Benito Granados of Barcelona police, said the ‘added value’ of this operation is that officers now ‘have the scientific confirmation that these products have a bacterium that can be dangerous’.
He said E.coli had been found in packages containing ice and mint, commonly used in Mojitos.
Among other ingredients seized was a green powder, with an unknown composition, that could be used to give flavour and colour to the drink.
Everything recovered was sent to the Department of Chemistry and Environment of the Criminalistics Service of the Guardia Civil for the analysis and preparation of the relevant reports.
The results confirmed that these substances ‘can be harmful due to the presence of E.coli bacteria’.
The revelation has prompted greater control measures in Barcelona, a popular holiday hotspot for British tourists.
Police have cracked down on the sale of the drinks from unlicensed vendors and have also arrested 18 suspects involved in the preparation of such cocktails.
Police sources confirmed they were from Romania, Pakistan and India. The shocking findings follow warnings from the national police in Spain after cocktail ingredients were found in drains in Benidorm last month.