PHUKET TOWN: The Chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office, Dr Boonrieng Chuchaisangrat, today issued a warning to residents and tourists not to accept drinks from friendly strangers. He said that the police have recently had reports of a number of cases of people being drugged with laced soft drinks before being robbed. But in a sinister new twist to this all-too-familiar robbery ploy, Dr Boonrieng said, the criminals are using a dangerous sedative, Dormicum, also known locally as Domingum. Used in large enough doses, the drug may not only put victims to sleep but may kill them. He explained that the criminals strike up a conversation with victims and, when they feel that a sufficient level of friendliness has been reached, offer them a drink laced with the drug. Within 15 minutes the victim is unconscious, and the robbers can take their time stealing everything worth taking. The robberies take place most commonly in entertainment establishments, he added. Dr Boonrieng said Dormicum, a controlled drug, is one of the most powerful sedatives made. Legally, it can be obtained only by prescription, but some pharmacies are apparently selling it over the counter.
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