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2.5 kilos of Bonsai seized

20 January 2013

Acting on a tip off, the drug investigation unit of Famagusta police department seized 738 packets of bonsai, a synthetic drug often sold as a relaxant like cannabis. Two people have been arrested, one of whom was Ufuk Caner aged 52, who was found in possession of a large quantity of drugs.

A warehouse belonging to Caner was searched and 738 packets of bonsai found and taken away.

Police are making further inquiries and both suspects will appear at Famagusta Criminal Court today.

Drug Profile: Phenazepam
Nicknamed locally as bonzai or bonsai, Phenazepam is a benzodiazepine similar in structure to Diazepam (Valium). Produced in Russia since the 1970’s, the chemical has no medicinal use in Cyprus but has been used to treat epilepsy and other mental disorders in Russia.

As the compound produces a sleepy, relaxed feeling, it has often been sold on the Internet as fake Valium. However, Phenazepam is a strong depressant, 5x stronger than Diazepam and can easily be overdosed.  Mixing the drug with other depressants such as alcohol can lead to unconsciousness, coma and death.

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