A British couple has been detained following a raid on a remote residence in Yecla, north of Orihuela, Spain, that was being used as a spiritual retreat
The drugs seized by the Guardia Civil that were being sold to both Spanish citizens and foreign tourists lacked any type of medical supervision. They included:
- 14 litres of ayahuasca were seized, an indigenous drink used in traditional South American medicine by native peoples that, due to its psychoactive components, generates hallucinogenic effects.
- A pot of Sananga, an Amazonian eye drops to treat eye ailments, is also used in certain ceremonies to increase spiritual perception.
- Three kilos of marijuana, three kilos of snuff, 29 pots of pipettes with marijuana extract, 44 lollipops, and sweets with San Pedro extract.
- 304 San Pedro cactus and 200 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms were also seized.
The couple, who were soliciting others to participate in the “alleged” shamanic rituals scam, were detained and presented before Yecla’s Examining Court number 1. (Murcia). They are accused of crimes against the environment, domestic animals, and public health.
The pair advertised the retreat as a healing house that focused on self-development groups, shamanic retreats, addiction recovery, and detoxification in order to offer these shamanic rites.
The ‘rituals’ were conducted despite the absence of any kind of license or administrative authorisation, and were available for group bookings of 500 euros per day for 16 guests for a minimum stay of three nights.
An additional charge of 100 euros per person was levied if clients required a ceremony with kambó, a substance obtained from the secretion of an Amazonian frog, and with a high content of natural opiates, said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine and poses a serious risk to health.
The officers found an ayahuasca retreat being held on the day the retreat was raided. According to reports, one of the rooms was furnished with seven bunks and two armchairs from where the shamans were directing the ritual. Police witnessed the ingestion of hallucinogenic substances by seven people of various nationalities.
The Guardia Civil said that the ‘supposed’ spiritual guides administered the substances without any medical control. The drugs produced a series of physical effects on the attendees such as sweating, dizziness, nausea, and muscular contractions that could last between eight and twelve hours. On occasion, this led to more severe complications of a cardiac nature.
Several goldfinch wings (a protected species) were also found on the farm, apparently ready to be used for the ornamentation of some of the tools and supplies, which is a crime against flora, fauna, and domestic animals.