Two Russians arrested in Tiruvannamalai for possession of psychedelic substances

Among the seized substances were Amanita muscaria (fly agaric), psilocybin, and other magic mushrooms. Ayahuasca and Kambo (frog poison) were also mentioned as part of the ceremonies conducted by the suspects.
Two Russians arrested for possessing psychedelic substances.
Two Russians arrested for possessing psychedelic substances.
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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Chennai zone on 10 June, arrested two Russian nationals, a man and a woman, in Tiruvannamalai for possession of psychedelic substances. Acting on a tip-off, the officers seized 239 grams of psychedelic substances, including potentially fatal compounds from the duo. 

The investigation revealed that the arrested individuals were involved in conducting ayahuasca retreat ceremonies in various locations across India, including Rishikesh, Manali and Tiruvannamalai. They were reportedly preparing for an Ayahuasca ceremony scheduled in Tiruvannamalai from June 15 to 17. 

Among the seized substances were Amanita muscaria (fly agaric), psilocybin, and other magic mushrooms. Ayahuasca and Kambo (frog poison) were also mentioned as part of the ceremonies conducted by the suspects. The possession and trafficking of substances like DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) and psilocybin are punishable offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Consequently, the duo has been charged under this act.

The NCB has also urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to drug trafficking to the authorities. Speaking to TNM, an official from the NCB said, “we are investigating to identify potential links to a larger drug trafficking network”. 

Recently, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, chaired a meeting with 24 district collectors in the Secretariat, where he urged the officers to collaborate with District Police Chiefs, Health, Family Welfare and Municipal administration staff to eradicate drugs in their respective districts. 

Ayahuasca is a traditional spiritual medicine used for centuries by indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. The ceremonies are typically conducted by shamans or healers who guide participants through profound experiences aimed at emotional healing, and spiritual awakening. Ayahuasca has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits, including the treatment of depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and addiction. However, its use comes with significant risks, particularly when conducted without proper supervision and care, as it can lead to severe physical and psychological effects. 

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