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Laughing gas arrests end party for British expats

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Laughing gas arrests end party for British expats
The sale of nitrous oxide for recreational use in Spain is prohibited because of possible harmful side effects. File photo: Tony Nungaray
11:40 CEST+02:00
Spanish police have detained three British expats for distributing nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, at a bar in the glamorous tourist resort of Marbella on the Costa del Sol.

The manager of the bar and two female bartenders sold balloons filled with nitrous oxide, which induces euphoria and laughter when inhaled, for five euros ($6.50) a dose, Spain's interior ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“Police learned that the sale of the product was carried out openly by employees of the establishment as part of their duties under the supervision of the manager, who controlled the activity and kept the money collected from the sale of the product,” it said.

Nitrous oxide has several legitimate uses, including numbing pain during medical procedures such as dentistry, but its sale for recreational use in Spain is prohibited by law because of its possible harmful side effects.

Millions of tourists visit the Costa del Sol, famed for its beaches and nightlife, every year and hundreds of thousands of expatriates from northern Europe live on the coastal belt.

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