A gang of robbers in Paris have been arrested after allegedly blowing a powerful powdered drug into the faces of their victims. The drug causes the victims to lose their free will and puts them in a trance-like state that was described to mimic that of “zombies.” The gang would then rob the victims of their possessions. Police note that the drug, related to the deadly nightshade plant, is also known as “The Devil’s Breath” and is recognized as one of the most deadly drugs in the world. The drug causes people to “lose their free will” and can prove deadly if given in high doses.
The Daily Mail reports that two Chinese women, aged 42 and 59, used the drug on dozens of people in the street. They would blow the substance on the faces of their victims until they were in a trance-like zombie state. Then a third person, a man, would rob the victims while they were under the control of the drug. One interesting property of the drug is that it “completely blocks the formation of memories, which means victims have absolutely no idea what has happened to them and stand no chance of identifying the people targeted them.” This means the victims would be unable to identify the attacker, let alone know what took place while they were in their trance state. In fact, the drug was reportedly used by the CIA during Cold War interrogations as part of a “truth serum.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Devil’s Breath toting trio stole millions from their victims, with over $112,000 stolen from one victim. The robbers would take valuables and cash from their victims after they were under the influence of the potent drug. The report notes that the trio were part of a larger international gang that performs “acts around the world and specializes in mental submission with the aid of unknown products.”
Miriam Gutiérrez, a toxicology expert in Bogota, Colombia, notes that Devil’s Breath is the perfect drug to give victims before a crime as they will not recall anything about the crime; therefore, they are less likely to report anything.
“From a medical point of view, it’s the perfect substance to commit criminal acts because the victim won’t remember anything, and therefore won’t report anything.”
A drug dealer familiar with the drug told the publication that blowing the powdered form of the drug in someone’s face is very effective. It was noted that the drug would work almost instantly and that the person would be under complete control of the criminal.
“It works in a flash. You wait for a minute for it to kick in and then you know you own that person. You can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child.”
The drug is grown in Colombia; therefore, it is no surprise that the incidents of Devil’s Breath use are highest in the South American country. Over 50,000 cases of criminal activity involving the drug are reported each year.
[Image Credit: Wiki Commons/ “Scopolaminum hydrobromicum DAB 9 by Danny S.”]