Welfare checks conducted where ‘suicide poison’ may have been sent | world news
British police are conducting security checks at addresses where poison linked to several suicides may have been sent.
The “safe and well checks” will take place at the homes of people who Canadian authorities believe bought the deadly substance from chef Kenneth Law, who was arrested on Tuesday.
The 57-year-old, from the city of Mississauga, was taken into custody after someone in Canada who had taken the substance died suddenly in March.
The victim is one of two people known to authorities to have been in possession of the poison after it was allegedly supplied by one of Law’s companies.
Ontario Deputy Chief of Peel Regional Police Marc Andrews said he is working with other forces around the world because they believe “there could be more casualties”.
Investigators are aware of 1,200 packages linked to Law’s companies that were sent to addresses in more than 40 countries.
But it is not known how many of those packages contained the poison – which can be legally sold and has other uses.
A Times investigation found Law is linked to as many as 13 deaths, including eight in the UK, after the poison was purchased from one of his multiple websites.
Law told an undercover reporter posing as a customer that Brits were among his “most frequent” buyers, claiming he had sold poison to “hundreds” of them.
The chef claimed to be doing “God’s work” after seeing his mother “suffer greatly” when she had a stroke.
He said: “She was bedridden, unable to speak and they had to tube-feed her for over seven years. And that was very painful. Not only for her family, but also for me very painful.
“So I created an escape route so that when people find themselves in a situation like this, they can either do it themselves or have someone else do it.”
Law added that up to 95% of his buyers struggle with “a serious underlying health or age issue.”
But the oldest known victim to have died after ingesting the poison was just 38 years old, and the youngest just 17.
Law, who faces two counts of counseling and assisting suicide, will appear in court again Tuesday.
The National Crime Agency, the agency that obtained the list of addresses for whom welfare checks are to be conducted, said: “We are in touch with our Canadian counterparts on this matter and are in contact with local police as appropriate.”
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