Dubai workers knocked out after sipping horse sedative-laced tea
Police in Dubai have said that a stable worker caused 48 people to faint last year after serving them Karak Tea spiked with horse sedatives.
The mysterious case had puzzled authorities, who were initially unable to find traces of toxic substances despite collecting 112 samples from the workers.
Ebtisam al-Abdoli, director of specialised forensic section at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology at Dubai Police, said the workers had been drugged after drinking the milky beverage, which is widely consumed in Arab Gulf states.
"We first thought it was food poisoning, but later discovered that a worker had stolen a drug used as a sedative for horses from the stable clinic and put it in a pot of karak tea," Abdoli said in Dubai on Tuesday.
"It was a rare case and a big mystery for us. The workers, who consumed the tea in the cafeteria, later fell unconscious in different areas of the stable," she added.
Traces of drugs were found after police collected samples from the water tank, teapot and milk which were used.
"The device has a database for all drugs and we found traces of romifidine and chlorocresol in the tea samples. We called the stable's doctor and he said that the drugs were used as a sedative for horses and they are specially delivered from Uruguay. He said a bottle of the drug was stolen three weeks before the incident, but authorities had not been alerted," Major Adnan Lanjawi was quoted by the Gulf News as saying.
A worker from the stable had reportedly stolen the drug from the clinic and mixed it with karak tea in an act of vengeance against some of his colleagues.
Police gave no further details about the dispute between the workers that led to the incident.