POLICE have arrested a man for selling laughing gas to young British tourists in Mallorca, as a gang distributing the gas on the mainland has been busted by authorities.
The 38-year-old hawker was detained on Tuesday at 4.10am by a Calvia Polica Local patrol operating on Calle Punta Ballena in the party resort of Magaluf
Officers spotted the vendor with four British men who each had a balloon that they were inhaling from.
Police approached the tourists and the seller, who tried to hide two nitrous oxide gas cans under his feet.
Three of the four Brits ran off as the man admitted selling the ‘laughing gas’ balloons with the remaining holiday-maker admitting that his group had given the man €20.
A search of the Senegalese national uncovered the €20 bill, plus the two cans and an ecstasy pill, with officers arresting him for a crime against public health.
Meanwhile, ten people have been detained in Malaga for selling and distributing nitrous oxide and other narcotic substances.
Those investigated distributed ‘laughing gas’ to customers in entertainment venues across the Costa del Sol.
47 nitrous oxide cylinders were seized as well as marijuana and psychotropic drugs shipped in by ‘human mules’ from Morocco.
Due to its relative low cost, nitrous oxide has becoming a popular drug among young people in Europe.
It carries health risks such as suffocation, due to its nature as a compressed liquefied gas.
By functioning as a dissociative anaesthetic, it can also cause hallucinations and disorientation, and regular use can even damage the spinal cord and lead to death.
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products has also warned that its non-medical use represents a health risk.