Dangerous ecstasy tablets in the shape of characters from Pokémon are on sale for less than a pound as dealers cash in on the computer game craze.
The Sunday People found that super-strength pills laced with ecstasy and the drug 2CB are being made in Dutch factories, then smuggled in bulk via encrypted ‘dark net’ drugs markets.
UK dealers pay with the anonymous online bitcoin currency and make huge profits by selling tablets at £5 a time.
The streets are being flooded with these Class A drugs .
Two teenage girls have died this year after taking ecstasy. And a 13-year-old boy and three girls aged 12 are seriously ill after taking the pills in the last month alone.
Callous dealers make tablets attractive to youngsters by moulding them into the shape of “Pikachu” characters from Pokémon.
They plan to rake in a fortune following the global launch Nintendo’s app phenomenon Pokémon GO last Thursday.
The app uses GPS to alert players on smartphones when Pokémon creatures are in nearby real-life locations, then urges them to track them down on foot to capture them.
The tablets bear names such as Minions, iPhones, Twitter, Hello Kitty and Lego.
We found Pikachu pills on a special-access Ebay-style auction, one of dozens hidden on the deep web.
Dealers can buy 50 high-dose tablets for £49.71.
The shadowy seller from Holland warned us: “They are really high dosed 2CB pills – so be careful.”
A staggering 17,635 ecstasy batches are in stock at the illegal cyber store, which also sells guns, hitmen services and fake documents.
We also found Pikachu pills containing 210mg of ecstasy – dangerously above the recommended safe dose.
A gang source in Manchester revealed: “There are hundreds of thousands of these pills being pressed in Holland and Germany and shipped here.
“Chances of them being intercepted are pretty slim. Sell them for a fiver a go and you make a wedge. There’s massive demand. Pills are back in a big way.”