EXTRA police officers will be sent to patrol nightclubs in the wake of the first seizure of killer Mortal Kombat ecstasy tablets in the Capital.
More than 20 of the same pills linked to the death of a Glasgow teenager were seized at The Liquid Room in Victoria Street on Sunday.
Stewards at the club spotted a man acting suspiciously inside the premises. A bag of distinctive red pills featuring a dragon logo was later recovered.
Following the development, police chiefs said they would be working with licensees and ensuring “additional vigilance” for the drug across the city.
A police spokeswoman said: “We have increased the size of our city centre detail in recent weeks and we have a good presence in and around Edinburgh’s nightclubs.
“We are aware of current concerns regarding ecstasy tablets and we are working with the licensing trade to target this. We have an excellent relationship with the club stewards and they are vital to help us keep young people safe on their nights out.”
Health chiefs have also renewed their warning over the danger of the pills, which were linked to the death of Regane MacColl. The 17-year-old died after taking them in a Glasgow club on February 1, while four other users were hospitalised across Scotland.
Detective Inspector Rory Hamilton, of Police Scotland, said: “This is the first arrest for possession of Mortal Kombat within the Capital and we want to send a clear message that police are working with staff at licensed premises to ensure additional vigilance.
“The public should be mindful of the health risks associated with consumption of Mortal Kombat and similar substances. Anyone found to be in possession of it should expect to be dealt with by police.”
Crew 2000, the drug information service, said the tablets may contain PMA, a toxic substance which can induce
vomiting, nausea, irregular heartbeats and has been linked to deaths.
The organisation’s Jeremy Adderley said: “People need to remember that the branding of a drug is not a sure indicator of the chemicals or dosage it contains. Mortal Kombat appears to be a relatively high-strength MDMA (ecstasy) based tablet that may also contain PMA, but no analysis of what is circulating is available to confirm this. The brand [has] been available for at least six months and users have reported very different responses to it.
“We can be sure that using it in conjunction with other drugs, like alcohol, can be very dangerous.
“This is a drug that should treated with caution, even for those who may have used it previously, and anyone who has taken one should seek medical attention if they feel unwell.”
Jim Sherval, specialist in public health with NHS Lothian, said: “You really can’t tell what is in a pill just by looking at it. The logo is no guide to content or safety. The best way to stay safe is not to take anything you are not sure of, especially illegal drugs.”
Police said they were on alert to track down further supplies.
A Liquid Room spokesman said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is of paramount importance to us. We will continue to work closely with the police.”
n A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.