Police are warning of “fatal” Darth Vader Ecstasy pills which are being sold to schoolchildren online
Officers in Exeter, Devon, say the Class A drugs are being sold on the Dark Web and warned parents to educate their children about the risks.
The blue tablets are shaped like the Star Wars villain, and last year a 14-year-old boy suffered kidney failure after taking half a pill.
Three teens and an adult have died in the space of a month in the south west of England after taking suspected Ecstasy pills.
A post on the Exeter Police Twitter account said: “Exeter Neighbourhood Team are concerned children are using Darth Vader brought on the dark web with fatal consequences.
“Please ensure you know where your child is and teach them about the risks of drug use.”
Detective Constable Chris Empson, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “This is not just really experienced cyber criminals, we are looking at teenagers who are looking at this tech for their own gain and this technology removes the physical barriers to crime in the future because they can do it in the comfort of their own bedrooms.
“This is a new threat that we are facing.”
Research suggests that many Ecstasy pills now contain benzylpiperazine (BZP) rather than MDMA as the main ingredient.
Hannah Bragg, 15, died in Tavistock, Devon, on June 23 after celebrating the end of her GCSEs and was believed to have taken a "dirty pill."
Shakira Pellow, 15, died in Camborne, Cornwall, on July 14 after taking drugs described as ‘Duplo’ pills.
Reece Murphy, 16, and Mitchell Hole, aged 30, both died on July 1 in Taunton, Somerset, after taking suspected Ecstasy.