UK: SM Jaleel & Co says fatal soft drink was contraband
The manufacturer of a Caribbean soft drink linked to the death of a British man has said the cocaine-laced beverage that killed him was smuggled into the country and tampered with.
SM Jaleel & Co said yesterday (12 December) it does not export Cole Cold Pear-D to the UK and that the product entered Britain "through irregular and unauthorised means”. The Trinidad-based company said UK police had confirmed the bottle drunk by Joromie Lewis, who died last Thursday, was tampered with and contained fatal amounts of liquid cocaine.
Lewis, from Southampton, died shortly after drinking a 20oz Pear-D. According to the BBC, the 33-year-old thought the drink was genuine, but police believe the bottle may have been used to bring drugs into the UK.
SM Jaleel & Co has recalled from sale in Trinidad the batch that included the bottled consumed by Lewis “as a precautionary measure”.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) yesterday issued a warning to UK consumers not to drink Pear-D.
“Investigations are ongoing to find out whether more bottles of the product have been distributed in the UK,” the FSA said. “Members of the public should not consume this product and, if found, should take it to their local police station.”
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