Saturday 21 September 2019

Irishman is sprayed with date-rape drug and robbed in Tenerife

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

An Irishman has warned tourists heading to the Spanish island of Tenerife to be vigilant after he was sprayed with a date-rape drug and forced to empty his bank accounts.

David Nelson (27) was on a trip away with friends in March and has shared his "horrible experience" to help raise awareness about a dangerous drug known as 'Devil's Breath'.

Mr Nelson, an engineer from Bray, Co Wicklow, who is currently working in Switzerland, was staying in Adeje and went out for drinks in the Playa de las Americas area on March 23.

At the end of the night he lost the group and went to get a taxi back to his apartment when he was approached by a woman.

He claims she tried to seduce him and when he pushed her away, he was "sprayed in the face with a substance".

"I was later informed by police it was the date-rape drug Devil's Breath," he told the Irish Independent.

"I remember very few things after being sprayed. My phone was taken, gold watch, bracelet, €600 from my wallet and I was then taken to an ATM and the girl proceeded to take what money she could from my Irish and Swiss bank accounts until the cards declined. This drug turns you into a zombie."

The police report described the woman as being between 20 and 30 years old with curly hair.

He said the police told him that tourists are regularly attacked with the drug scopolamine, more commonly known as Devil's Breath.

The substance has been blamed for thousands of crimes in South America and has now become a problem in European countries.

The US Overseas Security Advisory Council has issued many warnings about the drug, which it says can "disorient the victim and cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems".

The Department of Foreign Affairs says that while it doesn't comment on individual cases, it acknowledged Spanish authorities have warned of date-rape drugs being used.

Meanwhile, a candlelit vigil was held over the weekend for another Irishman who was reported missing in Tenerife in the same week that Mr Nelson was robbed.

Father-of-two Peter Wilson (32) was last seen on the island on March 23.

He travelled there from Dublin Airport on March 22 and was staying in the Malibu Park Hotel. His family and friends have appealed on social media for anyone who may have seen him to get in contact.

He is believed to have been in the Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas areas.

Irish Independent

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