UK boy tries to get poison '30 times deadlier than ricin'

2015-04-08 15:28

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London - A 16-year-old boy was arrested by anti-terrorism police after placing an order on the "dark web" for a powerful poison regarded as 30 times more toxic than ricin, a court heard on Wednesday.

The boy, from Tameside, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to trying to acquire a biological toxin or agent contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act and the Biological Weapons Act.

Manchester Youth Court heard that police were told in January that the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had shown an interest in obtaining the substance, abrin. He told detectives he had wanted to buy it to commit suicide.

"[He] showed awareness of the drug's toxicity and the potential for it to be used to cause considerable harm," police said in a statement.

In February, he had tried to place an order on the "dark web", a large, murky area of the World Wide Web where sites hide their identity and also suggested he would make future purchases in larger quantities.

"Abrin is a natural poison found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea or jequirity and is considered 30 times more toxic than ricin," the police statement added.

A 16-year-old girl was also arrested as part of the investigation but later released without charge. The boy will be sentenced on 20 April.

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