independent

Sunday 19 May 2019

Drugged and robbed in Tenerife

A Bray man was sprayed with a date rape drug and forced to empty his bank accounts last month when on holiday in the Spanish island of Tenerife.

Engineer David Nelson (27), who lives and works in Switzerland, was on a break with friends in March and has shared his 'horrible experience' to help raise awareness about a dangerous drug known as 'Devil's Breath'.

He was staying in Adeje and went for drinks in the Playa de Las Americas area on March 23.

He got separated from the group and was trying to get a taxi when a woman approached him

She tried to seduce him, he said, and when he pushed her away, he was 'sprayed in the face with a substance'.

Police later told him it was the date rape drug 'Devil's Breath'.

His phone and watch were taken, and cash from his wallet. The woman took him to an ATM and proceeded to take what money she could from his Irish and Swiss accounts.

'This drug turns you into a zombie,' said Mr Nelson.

The woman was described as being between 20 and 30 years old with curly hair.

Mr Nelson 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 United States's 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 said that while it doesn't comment on individual cases, it acknowledged Spanish authorities have warned of date rape drugs being used.

'Don't inadvertently lower your alertness to these risks simply because you are on holiday,' an advisory note on the DFA website reads.

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