Police on the Costa del Sol have dealt a major blow to the supply of laughing gas on the coast.
Local Police officers in Marbella have intercepted a van loaded with 250 bottles of nitrous oxide (each weighing two kilos) that was on its way to an alleged illegal party at a villa on the town’s Golden Mile.
The incident happened a few days ago when the local police’s 092 control room received a call that an illegal party was being held in the town. When officers went to the scene, they verified it was true, and started by identifying the people who opened the door. Two of them were foreigners and the third, Spanish, aged between 22 and 31 years old.
While they were doing that, a Mercedes van, with a Dutch registration plate, appeared and the driver, unaware of the police presence, began to beep the horn to gain access to the villa.
Police went to the vehicle and found two people inside. Both the driver and passenger were described as of Arab origin and Dutch nationality.
The officers inspected the van and found that it was carrying no less than 250 bottles of nitrous oxide. The occupants of the vehicle presented documentation from a Dutch logistics company to try to justify the cargo.
The bottles of ‘laughing gas’ were seized and police said they believed the vehicle was used for distributing cannisters to supply the illegal parties that have sprung up since the beginning of the pandemic, because regular entertainment venues had been closed.
Nitrous oxide is posing a real headache for the authorities. The police have linked its abusive use to the death of a young man this summer and the very serious injuries suffered by two others in Marbella.
The problem with nitrogen oxide is that its sale in stores is completely legal. The smallest capsules (single-dose) can be bought in any large town or on the internet. The largest bottles are used in the healthcare world as an anaesthetic in dental clinics.
However, authorities are clamping down on the use of ‘laughing gas’ in the nightlife sector. It causes a lack of oxygen in the brain and can lead to paranoia or hallucinations. In addition, when it is mixed with alcohol or cocaine, its effects are accentuated. The police believe that its use is behind the increase in aggressiveness they have witnessed in fights at nightlife and party venues.