Thursday 18 August 2022

Man, 74, arrested for selling suicide powder to hundreds of people

A 74-year-old man from Castricum has been arrested in an investigation into the sale of so-called suicide powder and is thought to have had a role in at least four deaths.

The man may have sold the powder to more than 500 people online and ‘earned considerably’ from doing so, the public prosecution department said on Friday.

The investigation began after a suicide in Zeeland and a suspicious death in Breda. One of the two people had a package in their home which could be traced back to him, the department said. The man will be in court for a remand hearing on Friday.

The powder was first presented as a humane way of committing suicide by the Coöperatie Laatste Wil (CLW), a right-to-die campaign group in 2017.

The cooperative sold it via meetings at members’ homes but stopped this last year after several people were arrested, including the organisation’s chairman.

The powder, a preservative, is legally available in the Netherlands unless sold as a suicide aid.

Last July a man named as Alex S was arrested for his role in distributing the powder, which justice ministry officials say may have been involved 33 deaths.

And in October, psychologist Wim van Dijk told the Volkskrant newspaper he had given the  powder to more than 100 people. He said at the time he had gone public with his actions to stir up public debate.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.