The police are investigating the deaths of two women after allegedly taking MDMA, a spokesperson has confirmed.
The deaths of Sandra Zamudio and Chrystal Mateiasevici are also the subject of magisterial inquiries, the police confirmed to Times of Malta.
Lovin Malta first reported that Zamudio, who is from Colombia, was hospitalised after ingesting a substance and subsequently died in hospital. It also reported how last week, 32-year-old Mateiasevici, who is from Melbourne, Australia, was given medical assistance at a party but died at Mater Dei Hospital.
Sources close to the investigation told Times of Malta that traces of MDMA (ecstasy) had been found in both women.
While not ruling out that the substances they ingested were tampered with, initial evidence suggested that the women may have overdosed on ecstasy, the sources said.
In the case of Zamudio, the police are also looking into whether she ingested the substance voluntarily or her drink was spiked.
“MDMA is more popular with foreigners and tends to be on the rise when there is an influx of tourists,” one source said.
“During the pandemic, drug traffickers saw a drop in business, so party hubs and big events are an opportunity for them to sell. I don’t think two cases in the span of two weeks is enough to make a declarative assessment on the possibility of there being contaminated drugs.”
“Since these two incidents on July 2 and July 15, there have been large mass events that went off without a hitch and no other person has died as a result.”
It could not be excluded, the sources added, that the drugs ingested were not sold to the victims while they were in Malta.
Zamudio has since been repatriated to Colombia and a funeral was held by her family over the weekend.
“Daughter since I found out about your departure, before sleeping I asked God to see you and come give me a hug even if it was in a dream,” Zamudio’s mother Claribel Torres Grajales said in a Facebook post.
“Last night in my dream you were giving me that hug so strongly that I begged so much for you not to let me go.”
“It's hard for me to accept that you're no longer here, I will love you for eternity, my daughter.”
Mateiasevici’s death has also triggered an outpouring of grief, with family members saying that their lives had been turned “upside down” since learning of her death while on holiday in Malta.
“To say we are devastated is an understatement,” her cousin Johnny Galea said.
“To those who didn't know Chrystal, she's one of the very few people in this world that never had anything bad to say about anyone. She had an absolute heart of gold and all of our kids adored Aunty Chrystal. We're going to miss your beautiful face and infectious laugh. Our hearts are broken. We all love you more than you could ever know!”
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