A Canadian chef who admitted to delivering a deadly poison to suicidal youths through the mail is reportedly linked to eight deaths in Britain.
Kenneth Law, 57, of Ontario, Canada, was charged with alleged online sales and distribution of the substance in connection with two deaths in Toronto.
Now police in the UK are ‘on the trail of buyers to conduct welfare checks’ after discovering ‘links to eight deaths’, The times reported.
For at least two years, Law allegedly mailed the deadly substance to vulnerable customers around the world.
Canadian authorities sent a list of UK buyers from Law’s websites to The National Crime Agency. According to The Times, the agency then sent agents to check the list and seize unused packages containing the substance.
Kenneth Law allegedly shipped the substance from a post office near Toronto to vulnerable customers around the world for at least two years, an investigation alleged
Tom Parfett, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, took his own life at the age of 22 after buying the drug
Neha Raju died in the past 18 months after buying products from Kenneth Law’s company, The Times reported
Law was arrested Tuesday night by Toronto police and was subsequently charged with two counts of counseling or assisted suicide.
“It is believed that the suspect may have distributed and marketed the substance online to target individuals at risk of self-harm,” police said.
Speaking to reporters after the arrest on Tuesday, Peel deputy chief Marc Andrews said investigators believed about 1,200 packages were sent to 40 separate countries under the law. Andrews noted that police could not confirm whether all packages contained the same substance.
“Investigators are working with multiple jurisdictions in Ontario, nationally and internationally, because we believe there could be more casualties,” Andrews said, as reported by the Times.
“The mental health and well-being of our communities is our number one priority.
“As such, we will not tolerate criminal actions by those who prey on vulnerable individuals in our community.”
Law’s alleged actions came to light last week in an investigation by The Times that alleged the chef had sent the substance from a post office near Toronto to vulnerable customers around the world.
Eight deaths in the UK have been linked to the poison sold online, The Times investigation claimed, including that of Tom Parfett, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, who committed suicide aged 22 after taking the drug from Law’s company had bought.
Mr Parfett’s father, David, said Law “actually handed a loaded gun to my son.”
He told The Times: “I believe my son would still be alive if it weren’t for this man and this substance.”
Anthony Jones, 17, an American, was another of Law’s clients who ran to his mother screaming “I want to live” after ingesting the substance that eventually killed him, according to The Times investigation.
Michael Dunham also died after buying products from Kenneth Law’s company
The National Crime Agency would not comment on how many people have bought the substance in the UK, The Times reported.
An undercover reporter had been posing as a suicidal client of Law’s. He allegedly bragged about providing the substance, claiming he was doing “God’s work.”
It was reported that Law also admitted to sending the poison to hundreds of buyers in the UK, saying he would continue to do so until he exhausted his inventory.
While the substance has caused at least 70 dead in Britain, it is still legal to sell and serves purposes other than as poison. Retailers are still required to alert authorities if it is suspected that it was purchased to cause harm.
Assisted suicide is punishable by up to 14 years in prison in the UK and Canada.
Anthony Jones, a 17-year-old American, was one of Law’s alleged victims. He ran to his mother and yelled “I want to live” after ingesting the substance, which eventually killed him, according to research from The Times.
In Britain, Mr Parfett, Michael Dunham, 38, Neha Raju, 23, and a 21-year-old student have all died within the past 18 months after buying products from Law’s company.
Mr. Parfett’s father said Law played God by giving vulnerable people the means to commit suicide.
“He knowingly supplies people with a means to take their own lives and derives a kind of perverse pleasure from knowing that they are doing it,” he added.
Law told the undercover reporter that “many, many, many, many” people had died after ingesting the poison.
He said he started selling the poison after watching his mother suffer after a stroke.
PPolice have since warned the public to alert officials if they receive a package from the following companies: Imtime Cuisine; AmbuCA; Academic/Academic; Escape Mode/escMode; and Icemac.
Anyone who has received such a package or has more information is asked to contact the police at 1-888-714-0003 or 11Divproject@peelpolice.ca.
For help and support you can contact the Samaritans free of charge and anonymously on 116 123