Police on Friday said 3,000kg of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) were seized from a warehouse in Limassol.
According to police spokesman Christos Andreou, 24 bottles of the controlled substance were found in a container that recently arrived through the port of Limassol, and was transferred to a warehouse unit of the Customs Department, from where it was expected to be collected.
Cases of laughing gas sold for recreational use have been on the rise, particularly in Paralimni and Protaras, Andreou said.
In cooperation with the customs department and drug squad, police searched the container on Thursday and detected the likely presence of nitrous oxide gas.
The 24 bottles were seized for testing and police are investigating the matter as a case of illegal importation of a controlled drug. According to evidence, the importer is a 34-year-old man who is to be interrogated.
Police have reminded the public that nitrous oxide is catergorised as a medical product, used exclusively for medical purposes, as an anesthetic in minor surgeries and administered only under supervision of a doctor, since its unregulated use pose health risks.
Among other side effects, it can cause acute respiratory failure and failure of the circulatory system, while cases of neurological damage have also been attributed to its use.