Synthetic drugs may have caused the deaths of 20 people in New Zealand according to police, who are issuing fresh calls for people with information to come forward.
Police and the Chief Coroner have today reinforced their warnings about using synthetic drugs following the recent deaths of two men aged 22 and 37, and a 26-year-old woman, who died in separate incidents in West Auckland.
Their deaths are being investigated by the Coroner into whether synthetic drugs were the possible cause of death.
The substance may also be linked to the possible death of a 21-year-old Fielding man.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard is calling for anyone to come forward with information about who is selling and manufacturing these drugs.
"We need your help to catch these offenders and to hold them to account," says Detective Inspector Beard
"You may have noticed that we are not calling it synthetic cannabis.
"It is not cannabis.
"The majority of our ESR testing have found the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA.
"I want to be very clear that we have been open and transparent about our testing, this is what ESR is finding in the drugs we have seized.
"It is a dangerous drug that we know is a synthetic compound usually manufactured overseas."
Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall says there have been a number of deaths linked to synthetic drugs since police issued a public warning in July.
Currently, the Office of the Chief Coroner has around 20 cases under review where synthetic drugs are the possible cause of death.
"Each case is a tragedy for the family and friends of those left behind.
"While many deaths have occurred in Auckland, a number of cases in other parts of New Zealand have also been reported to Coronial Services.
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