FOUR PEOPLE were caught trying to sell laughing gas in Ayia Napa early Sunday morning, police confirmed.
They were released after being charged but will have to appear in court at a later date.
Members of the Famagusta Police Crime Prevention Department arrested the four for possession and intent to sell the substance for recreational use, which is prohibited under Cyprus law without the relevant licence. They were also in possession of other items including four cylinders, 98 ampoules, 144 balloons and 450 euros in cash. The gas is generally inhaled after it has been injected in balloons or ampoules.
A licence to sell laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is only granted for medical purposes. It is administered in dentistry and surgery as it numbs pain while keeping patients awake.
Apart from this purpose, it is also widely used as a recreational drug because it produces a short high. However, inappropriate handling can result in unconsciousness and, in the absence of sufficient fresh air, even death. Possible side effects include ear damage, distended bowels and bone marrow changes, according to official information.
There is no set penalty for the sale of laughing gas, police said.