Hereford & Worcester

Bethany Shipsey: Drugs arrest in Ukraine after probe

Bethany Shipsey Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Bethany Shipsey died after taking an overdose of diet pills

A man has been arrested following investigations into the supply of toxic diet pills.

The arrest is believed to be linked to the death of Bethany Shipsey, 21, from Worcester, who died after taking tablets containing DNP in 2017.

The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) said Ukranian national Andrei Shepeliev was being held in connection with the supply of controlled substances.

The link to Miss Shipsey's death, and DNP, has yet to be confirmed.

Her father, Doug Shipsey, said he had been told of the possible connection by the NFCU.

The Food Standards Agency, on behalf of the NFCU said it had been investigating the sale of DNP and, as part of that, had looked into Miss Shipsey's case, passing details on to various law agencies.

It said it had information from Ukranian authorities that an arrest had taken place at the weekend.

It said, since 2015, it had closed 70 websites in the UK that advertised DNP for sale as a diet supplement.

What is DNP?

2,4-dinitrophenol, or DNP, is highly toxic and not intended for human consumption

An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat-burning substance

Users experience a metabolism boost, leading to weight loss, but taking even a few tablets can be fatal

Signs of acute poisoning include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heartbeat

Consuming lower amounts over longer periods could lead to cataracts and skin lesions and impact on the heart, blood and nervous system

Experts say buying drugs online is risky as medicines may be fake, out of date or extremely harmful

At her inquest, the coroner said he believed Miss Shipsey "deliberately ingested" the pills but said medics had also failed to adequately monitor her.

Her family has since instructed solicitors Irwin Mitchell to apply for the judicial review to challenge the conclusion.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionIn February, Doug Shipsey challenged the government over his daughter's death

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