LONDON, England, Friday December 13, 2013, CMC – British police are warning customers not to drink a pear juice drink made in the Caribbean after a bottle contaminated with cocaine killed a Vincentian-born man.
The police report that Vincentian born Joromie Lewis, 33, of Gosport in Hampshire died within hours of drinking a small amount of the Cole Cold Pear-D drink he had brought back with him from a trip to the Caribbean.
Tests on the product confirmed that it contained a lethal amount of the class A drug.
“We are working closely with partner agencies, including Southampton’s Regulatory Services, Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Crime Agency, to minimise any risk to the public and to investigate the circumstances leading to the tragic death of Mr. Lewis,” said Det. Supt. Richard Pearson of Hampshire Constabulary.
“We have taken clear advice from partner agencies and, in light of the analysis of the contents of the bottle, a decision was made to issue the public alert by the Food Standards Agency,” he added.
“Enquiries to date have not identified any further incidents or similar bottles,” Pearson continued. “The investigation suggests that this was likely to be a rogue bottle from a consignment of drugs stored in plastic juice bottles.”
Police believe that the bottle was being used to transport drugs into the United Kingdom.
Detectives and the Food Standards Agency have also urged British shops that might have the product on their shelves to remove it.
Pearson said if found, bottles of Pear-D should be taken unopened to the nearest police station for examination.
The British Mirror newspaper reports that Lewis, a Royal Navy veteran, had fallen ill after he drank the pear fruit drink in Southampton last week.
No arrests have been made, but police have established that although Cole Cold Pear D is made in Trinidad and Tobago, it is not exported to the United Kingdom.