ZHEJIANG: Police in eastern China have detained a man for selling thousands of boxes of laughing gas on social media, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Friday (Dec 8).
It is believed to be the first case of its kind in China. The man, surnamed Yin, will be charged with operating an illegal business.
According to the report, Yin started the business in May and is accused of selling more than 12,000 boxes of the gas at 24 yuan (US$2.60) a piece.
The majority of Yin’s customers were young people who saw his advertisements on social media.
“He made more sales through WeChat than other online platforms,” said the prosecutor.
Police confiscated around 800 boxes from the man’s flat in Yunhe, Zhejiang province in October, reported SCMP, citing local news outlet Procuratorial Daily.
Each box contained 10 canisters of the nitrous oxide chemical, said police.
Nitrous oxide is considered a dangerous chemical and requires a special licence to market and sell, said the prosecutor.
The report said laughing gas is often used as a substitute for ecstacy and opium. Nitrous oxide makes people feel euphoric and relaxed, but is known to cause oxygen levels to drop which leads to dizziness and paralysis.
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