New charges for Canadian accused of selling drugs to people at risk of suicide
The Canadian man accused of selling sodium nitrite to people at risk of suicide is believed to have shipped as many as 1,200 packages to 40 countries, police said as they laid a dozen new charges in a sprawling investigation.
Kenneth Law, 57, previously charged with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide in the province of Ontario, is now facing 12 new charges in connection with deaths across the province, the York regional police inspector Simon James told reporters. The victims range in age from 16 to 36.
The update comes days after the UK’s National Crime Agency announced it was conducting an investigation into potential crimes allegedly committed by Law after it linked him to 88 deaths in Britain. An Interpol list containing the details of more than 200 British customers was passed to the NCA from Canadian authorities, according to the Times.
Officials said 272 are believed to have purchased substances to assist with suicide from Canada-based websites operated by Law.
Canadian police say the new charges, part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation, are linked to four deaths in Toronto, three in York region, one in Durham region, one in London, Ontario, one in Thunder Bay, one in Waterloo region and one in Peel region. Law now faces 14 charges in Canada, where the criminal code punishes anyone who “counsels or abets” a person to die by suicide with a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.
Police said they believe 160 of the 1,200 packages allegedly mailed by Law were sent to Canadian addresses, but cautioned the figure was “approximate”. The investigation spans 11 police jurisdictions in Ontario, said James, as well as other parts of Canada and internationally. Investigators in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and the United States are also investigating packages allegedly sent by Law.
Canadian authorities said cases from outside the jurisdiction would not be included in its investigations or prosecutions.
A former aerospace engineer working at a high-end hotel kitchen, Law was arrested and charged in Canada in May with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide, after admitting to an undercover reporter that “many, many, many, many” people had died after taking the substances he sold online.
On Tuesday, police again warned the public to watch out for transactions or packages bearing the names of Imtime Cuisine, AmbuCA, Academic/ACademic, Escape Mode/escMode and ICemac.
“We ask that the public be cautious and vigilant of online activities,” said James. “If you or anyone you know has spoken to Kenneth Law about self-harm, or noticed payment and transactions related to any of these companies please contact us.”
Law has denied reports that he was willingly selling products to help people die by suicide.