Wednesday, 26.09.2018
 Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line
Google+    
Daily news from the Canaries and the islands
   Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line

Burundanga used in nightclub
Deadly drug kills businessman
Two businessmen were victims of a new ‘date rape drug’ used at a gentlemen’s club in Playa del Inglés in Gran Canaria recently.


Customers were drugged with burundanga after being lured into the club with the offer of private shows
Customers were drugged with burundanga after being lured into the club with the offer of private shows
© Juliana da Costa

line
18.03.2015 - Two female escorts apparently slipped the so-called burundanga into the men’s drinks with the intention of stealing from them.  However, the plan went seriously wrong when both fell seriously ill, with one of the men later dying.

According to reports, following an earlier cycling excursion and meal out, Belgian Philippe Vandendorpe decided to attend the Red Hot Club with a friend, known only as Mario.  There, it’s said that two escorts – Sandra EM (33) from Madrid and Victoria K (28) from Russia – offered the two men a ‘private show’, for which they all withdrew to a booth. 

Shortly after, emergency services were called to the club after the health of both men deteriorated rapidly.  The two were rushed to Maspalomas medical centre but Vandendorpe died soon after arrival.  Mario required urgent treatment, but luckily survived the ordeal. 

Tenerife’s National Institute of Toxicology in Santa Cruz identified the drug administered by the escorts as burundanga, said to be four times stronger than most other date rape drugs; as well as being odourless, tasteless and easily slipped into any drink. 

Once a victim has been sedated it is very easy to steal cash or charge services to their credit card, hence its current popularity in certain criminal circles.

Burundanga is also known as scopolamine, a psychoactive chemical found in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants.  It has already achieved some notoriety in Latin America, where in recent years it has been used to sedate and disorientate victims so they can be easily robbed and, in some cases, sexually abused. 

The drug effectively turns people into suggestible puppets, later bringing on amnesia and confusion.  In medical use the drug is sometimes used as an anaesthetic, including here in the Canary Islands.

During the police investigation into the death of Philippe Vandendorpe, it transpired that the drug had often been used at the gentlemen’s club he attended. 

The incident follows a similar case in Gran Canaria in 2014, when six people were arrested after approaching tourists and inviting them into the Divinity Club, also in Playa del Inglés.  Unsuspecting men, who thought they’d agreed to an erotic massage, would have the drug slipped into their drink and promptly pass out, only to wake bewildered, with their credit cards drained of funds.

It’s widely known that women are at risk from sexual predators and date rape drugs, but men are also targeted and, with cases of burundanga use on the rise throughout Europe, all visitors to unknown areas are advised to exercise particular caution.      

Apart from the difficulties caused by the amnesia associated with the drug, many victims are also too embarrassed or ashamed to go to the police, so burundanga use can often be the perfect crime.

In the case of the late Belgian businessman, the police have placed Sandra EM and Victoria K into custody and have also arrested both a waiter and the manager of the establishment.  

While the incident is under investigation, police do not rule out further arrests being made.

By Sabine Virgin and Andrea Abrell



Gallery: Deadly drug kills businessman
Customers were drugged with burundanga after being lured into the club with the offer of private shows  
 1 picture found: Go to gallery
News::
Daily News
Tenerife
Gran Canaria
Canary Islands
Spain
Features
What do you think?
Impressions

Canary Property Guide
ic media group