Chemical submission: Gangs use dating apps to rob and abuse victims after drugging them

A man is in search and capture for being the alleged cause of the death of four men in Bilbao. According to the investigations, he would have met his victims through a dating social network and, after gaining his trust, he met them, drugged them and stole their bank details to get hold of their accounts. This event puts the focus on chemical submission, which consists of the use of psychotropic substances to commit crimes such as sexual assault or robbery.



He used dating networks to meet men, whom he drugged and then robbed. Those are the reasons why the Ertzaintza is looking for a man in Bilbao, suspected of having killedpresumably, to four neighbors of the city using this method between September and October 2021. This practice is called chemical submission and uses psychotropic substances to nullify the victims and commit crimes such as sexual assault or robbery.

The suspicions about this alleged crime arose as a result of the death in Bilbao of a 43-year-old man on October 18. Although the autopsy did not certify criminal causes, the victim’s brother later denounced that they had stolen large amounts of money through the deceased’s credit card after his death. Thanks to the knowledge of this circumstance, the blood samples that were preserved from the man were analyzed and traces of liquid ecstasya drug that incapacitates the user.

This first case has opened the ban to suspect previous deaths. Specifically, of those of three men who lived in the historic center of Bilbao, users of the same dating social network and who had died, in principle, of natural causes as no signs of violence were found on the bodies. Although the alleged perpetrator would have left behind four victims, he allegedly tried the same action with another man in December, who managed to get out of the situation alive. The suspect is currently unaccounted for, with a search and arrest warrant for committing homicide.

Chemical submission: time to detect it

The modus operandi of this suspect would consist of gain the trust of their victims through social networks to meet them and then use chemicals to incapacitate them and commit crimes. The practice, called chemical submission, includes both robbery and sexual abuse and, as specified on the Community of Madrid website, “in recent years there has been an increase in the number of cases with these characteristics: robberies, homicides, sedation and incapacitation of the elderly, sick or children”.

Pouring drug into a drink.

This recent case is reminiscent of another that happened recently at the Palace Hotel in Madrid, where Puerto Rican businessman José Rosado died of chemical submission. His body did not show signs of violence either, as in the aforementioned event, but when analyzing his body, it was found liquid ecstasywhich would have been supplied to him in order to incapacitate him and access his bank accounts.

Although in these two cases the motive was money, the use of incapacitating drugs to commit crimes of a sexual nature is also very common. Specifically, according to data from the Ministry of Justice, one in three sexual assaults in the last five years would have been caused by chemical submission. An example of them is that of a woman who denounced that in 2016 two men she had been abused in a caravan during the world windsurfing championship in Las Palmas. However, although she maintained at all times that she drank a couple of sips of a drink that caused her to only remember “specific moments” of that day, the High Court acquitted the defendants due to lack of evidence.

Due to this precedent, the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands urges those affected by this type of crime to submit to tests that can demonstrate that they have been victims of chemical submission. According to a letter from the General Council of the Judiciary to which it has had access elcierredigital.com, can be detected beyond 72 hours in which the substances remain in the body. Specifically, these drugs would leave a trace up to six weeks later of aggression.

The Superior Court certifies in this way that “not only blood tests can detect these substances that, on the other hand and with respect to this specific analysis, is only traceable during the following 24 hours after ingestion, but that in urinalysis it leaves a trace for a period of five days, and the traces in the hair lengthen their trace for four to six weeks after ingestion”.

The dangers of social dating networks

According to portal data Statisticalin 2021 approximately 12.83% of the Spanish population used dating social networksabove countries like France and Germany. Tinder It is one of the most used, with some 60 million people throughout the globe who join this apps to meet people or find love.

Chemical submission Gangs use dating apps to rob and abuse

Dating apps.

This trend has been seen markedly increased due to the pandemic, with users between 18 and 25 years old mainly (also called Generation Z). “2020 has changed everything. The loss and loneliness that confinement caused in the lives of young people has led to a new phase in their intention to meet someone or to find new ways to connect, ”he said. Vicente Balbestredirector of Communication for Tinder in southern Europe.

Although this practice has its positive aspects, such as the reduction of distances or the possibility of meeting new people in adverse situations such as that experienced by Covid-19, it also contains its negative elements since on many occasions, are used for criminal purposes. One of the best-known examples is that of the Tinder media scammer, who gained the trust of his victims through this social network to later swindle them.

On the other hand, these social networks would include bad practices such as political propaganda by users (in the United States, for example, there were users who advertised to vote for a certain candidate in the presidential elections) and even the buying and selling of drugs. With profiles that use specific emojis to indicate that they sell substances, dealers hide on social dating networks, especially those dedicated to homosexual audiences, to sell their wares.

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Chemical submission: Gangs use dating apps to rob and abuse victims after drugging them