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Woman held in connection with death at 'spiritual' ceremony released.

A 50-year-old woman who was being held in remand in connection with the death of a 34-year-old woman after a 'spiritual' ceremony involving the drug Ayahuasca in an apartment in Larnaca was released on Wednesday.

The woman, a Russian national and Limassol resident, was arrested on August 29 after several pieces of evidence were found in the apartment in Vergina where the ceremony had taken place earlier that week, suggesting the 50-year-old was involved in the organisation of the event which left a 34-year-old woman from Latvia dead.

After spending her six-day remand period in a private Limassol clinic, the woman, who is pregnant with twins, was released by the Larnaca district court on Wednesday as police currently do not have enough evidence to refer her case to trial.

The hands of the police are tied until the results of toxicology and histopathological tests conducted on the body of the 34-year-old are ready. Additional tests on the pieces of evidence collected by police from the crime scene are also expected to shed light on the case.

Once all results are ready, the case file will be sent to the legal service for advice.

Meanwhile, a 42-year-old man from Colombia who local police, Europol and Interpol are searching for on suspicion of providing the hallucinogen ayahuasca which was consumed by the group, has yet to be found.

The man is suspected to have fled the country after providing the drug for the ceremony.

Police believe that roughly 20 persons who participated in the 'spirit purification' ceremony for a fee of e1/4150 each were offered a drink believed to contain ayahuasca.

The drug, commonly used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin and meant to be administered by an experienced shaman, is not believed to be the sole cause of death of the 34-year-old, particularly since the remaining pool of participants were not similarly affected.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Sep 5, 2019
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