The Dutch police are hoping to prosecute a 76-year-old illegal drug supplier from the town of Castricum, who provided the suicide drug “X” to seven people who ended their own lives. The man, who is known only as Tom de M., is a member of the Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), an organisation that campaigns for people to be able to take their own lives in a humane manner, without the assistance of a doctor or other medical professional.
Growing concern over suicide drugs supplied illegally
The case comes after a number of high-profile arrests in the Netherlands for similar crimes allegedly committed by members of the CLW. Suspect Tom de M. is a 76-year-old resident of the Netherlands, and was arrested in 2022 for suspected involvement in four suicides – the authorities have now raised this number to seven and are also pursuing the suspect on charges of money laundering.
According to De Telegraaf, de M. used the website deliveryxpres.com to sell the illegal drugs to buyers online, where the drug was listed as a “hobby chemical”. Buyers could purchase the substance in 2-gram portions, for the purpose of “pest control”. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has alleged that the suspect made “a very large amount”, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.
Several high-profile cases of illegal assisted suicide in recent months
The case comes just a month after another high-profile sentencing of a different suicide drug seller in the Netherlands. In July, a court in Den Bosch put 29-year-old Alex S. behind bars for 3,5 years after finding the suspect guilty of illegally assisting the suicide of 10 people after selling them the drug for 45 euros.
The Netherlands is not alone in this uptick of cases of illegal sellers profiting from the provision of suicide drugs; in May 2023, Canadian Kenneth Law was charged with counselling or abetting persons to die by suicide for sending suicide drugs to people in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Canadian police accuse Law of shipping more than 1.200 packages to people in more than 40 countries.
Dutch law enforcement have been trying to trace networks selling “Drug X” for assisted suicide for some time. So far, authorities have identified 13 suspects in the Netherlands, almost all of whom are affiliated with the CLW. The organisation proposed “Drug X” in 2017 as a humane means of suicide, though experts contradict the proposal and say that the drug can take as long as 40 hours to kill people who take it.
Drug X use in the Netherlands
The term “Drug X” is used to keep the name of the substance used out of public knowledge due to safety concerns. The name refers to a number of substances that are used primarily in the chemical industry that are highly toxic to humans.
According to the Dutch government, the drug has serious side effects and there is no antidote to reverse its effects. Investigators across the country are now scrambling to find out if more people have been able to order the drug and whether there are other cases of illegal assisted suicide that need to be looked into further.
If you are suffering with suicidal thoughts, or are concerned that someone else may be, you can contact the Dutch Suicide Prevention Service via phone, free of charge at 0800-0113 or by visiting 113.nl.