Police fear a new drug is set to sweep Britain after it was found in large quantities for a second time – a powerful hallucinogenic used by an obscure cult in BRAZIL.
The mind-bending drug – called ayahuasca – is used by worshippers of a religious movement in South America ”to get in touch with their inner selves”.
It comes in liquid form and is imported from Brazil where it is used as a ‘sacrament’ in the Santo Daime church – a blend of Christianity and South American and African languages.
The narcotic contains high doses of dimethyltryptamine – known as DMT – which has been found to send people on a ‘trip’ for up to eight DAYS.
Police have now seized a large quantity of the drug – designated Class A in Britain – following a raid at a home in the village of Dartington, Devon.
A 45-year-old Japanese woman and a 48- year-old local man were arrested and he has claimed to be senior member of the Santo Daime church.
It is only the second time the drug has ever been found in the UK and officers fear it could be about to flood the illegal drug market.
Reports suggest that the religion of Santo Daime – which means ‘holy give me’ – has surfaced in London, Devon, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, Wales and Yorkshire.
Det Sgt Staurt Gilroy of Devon and Cornwall Police said: ”At around 8.45am on Wednesday officers executed a warrant at an address in the village.
”A 48-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman were arrested at the address. Items seized from the premises are believed to be Ayahuasca and it is within this substance that the Class A drug DMT is contained.
”One of the detainees claims to be one of the senior members of the religion Santo Daime. Ayahuasca is the ‘Sacrament’ used by the Santo Daime church in the same way wine is used in Christian ceremonies.
”The drug is a psychotropic hallucinogenic used by members of the religion to get in touch with their inner selves.
”It is too early to say if further investigations need to be carried out or other people need to be interviewed. At the moment we don’t know how potent the drug is.”
The brown liquid found by police is being stored in special bio hazard bags and will be tested for its content.
Ayahuasca is a prepared using a specific South American vine mixed with leaves of various shrubs containing DMT.
Experts say that while none of the ingredients causes a psychedelic effect on its own, the combination causes a powerful high.
The church was born in the 1930s out of experiences of a Brazilian rubber-tapper named Raimundo Irineu Serra or Mestre (Master) Irineu, as followers call him.
In 1930 he was given his first taste of ayahuasca by medicine men and supposedly spent eight solitary days and nights in the rain forest experiencing visions of the Virgin Mary.
Police say both suspects have been released on police bail to return to Torquay Police Station on December 1.