Eindhoven man sold suicide powder to six people who died: Prosecutors
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An Eindhoven man arrested this week is alleged to have provided a fatal dose of a drug to at least six people, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said on Friday. The 28-year-old was taken into custody on Tuesday on accusations of illegally assisting in suicide, money laundering, and drugs offences.
He was remanded into pre-trial detention for an initial period of 14 days in a hearing in Den Bosch on Friday. He was identified as Alex S. by RTL Nieuws, who said he sold a lethal powder for 20 euros on classified advertisement website Marktplaats without discriminating based on a customer's age or motive.
"The suspect sold the drug from November 2018 to June 2021," the OM alleged in a statement. "The criminal investigation started after the death of a woman from Best in May 2021." the OM said in a statement. They found the woman had a "suspicious substance" with her when she died, and they also examined data she had stored on devices.
The circumstances led investigators to the Eindhoven man, who prosecutors said sold the lethal powder along with a prescription drug that would reduce the urge to vomit, the OM continued. He may have sold the one or both medications to "hundreds" of people, the OM said in court, according to RTL Nieuws.
A 19-year-old woman from Uden died in February 2018 from using the powder. At the time, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he found it "very worrisome" that the powder was available for purchase. The OM launched an investigation into that case, in part to determine if Cooperatie Laatste Wil helped her obtain the powder. The organization promotes "assisted suicide and self-euthanasia without the intervention of doctors," the group said.
S. was involved with that organization, the OM said in court, according to RTL Nieuws. The OM did not say if the Uden woman's death was part of its case against S. The town of Uden is about a 30-minute drive from Eindhoven and Best.
Attorney Sébas Diekstra said he was horrified that someone could profit by aiding people to kill themselves. He is representing the families of two young women who acquired the powder in 2020, and died soon after. It was not yet known if they bought the powder from the Eindhoven man.
"We understand that it is now being investigated further whether it was this suspect who provided the poisonous and inhumane drug with which these young women were able to end their lives," Diekstra said in a statement sent to RTL Nieuws.
Prosecutors confirmed the investigation was still ongoing. The suspect's detention can be extended by a magistrate in a hearing to be held by August 6.