Police investigating possible synthetic cannabis-related death in South Auckland

Police investigating possible synthetic cannabis-related death in South Auckland

Synthetic Cannabis seized in a recent raid in Ranui
Counties Manukau

Please attribute to Acting Detective Inspector Peter Florence, NZ Police

Police are investigating the death of a 24-year-old male from Papakura who died at Middlemore Hospital in the early hours of this morning.

At this stage it appears the male became seriously ill on Monday after he was believed to have been smoking synthetic cannabis, where he was then transported to hospital by ambulance staff.

Police will continue to investigate the death on behalf of the Coroner, who will ultimately determine the cause of death.

Police are continuing to target manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances.

In the past month, multiple search warrants have taken place across Auckland with a number of individuals arrested who are appearing before the courts.

A raid in Ranui last week saw almost 50 bags (pictured) of synthetic cannabis seized, while a recent synthetic cannabis operation in Avondale resulted in 12 arrests.

Police are determined to hold those responsible for manufacturing and supplying synthetic cannabis to account, however we cannot stop this alone.

We are urging the public to come forward and report anyone known to be selling synthetic cannabis or other illegal substances.

Information can be reported to your local Police station or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police are also aware of reports of a “bad batch” of synthetic cannabis following the recent cases of deaths in Auckland that may be linked to synthetic cannabis use.

However we have no scientific evidence at this stage to suggest that this is the case.

The Police investigations into these recent deaths remain ongoing and further tests are being carried out.

These tests will take a considerable amount of time, however ultimately it will be the Coroner who will rule on the cause of these deaths.

Taking any illegal drug or substance comes with its own risks, and the compound commonly found in synthetic cannabis is highly dangerous on its own – regardless of whether it’s been laced with any other chemicals.

ENDS

Nick Baker/NZ Police