Suspects charged with baffling needle attacks in France

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PARIS – Several suspects across France have been arrested or charged with preliminary charges in recent days for stabbing people with a needle in nightclubs or at concerts after a surge in needle attacks that confounded authorities and sowed panic among young club goers.

The French Interior Ministry, the Public Prosecution Office, the National Drug Control Agency, public health authorities and doctors did not specify a motive for the attacks, or whether the victims had been injected with drugs, viruses or any substance at all.

Since January, 1,004 people have submitted formal complaints to French authorities about such acupuncture, an Interior Ministry official told The Associated Press. Targeted individuals, mostly women, show visible signs of injection, frequently bruise, and report symptoms such as feeling dizzy.

Authorities said that in the cases that have so far resulted in charges being brought against suspects, medical examinations have revealed no signs of harmful substances, including the so-called date rape drug GHB. The suspects denied all the allegations.

After months of fruitless investigations, authorities in the Mediterranean city of Toulon have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of having pricked three women with a needle on the night of June 3-4, while recording a concert for television. He was the first suspect charged with preliminary charges, for “extreme violence with a weapon (syringe) with premeditation.”

Later in the same area, in the beach town of Six-Four-Les-Plages, police arrested two suspects who received preliminary charges on suspicion of ingesting a harmful substance on the night of June 10-11, the French local prosecutor said. the television.

Eight more people were arrested Tuesday, World Music Day, after individuals reported having been subjected to acupuncture, according to the Home Office. Some were later released. At least one, in Nancy, in eastern France, has been charged with preliminary charges of stabbing at least two people.

The suspect denied any wrongdoing, and said he was “extremely drunk” and had no recollection of the events, according to the prosecutor.

Police, doctors and medical-legal services work together to support victims.

The British government has also been considering a wave of “acupuncture”, while police in Belgium and the Netherlands have also reported sporadic cases.

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