Scopolamine, hyoscine also known as levo-duboisine or burundanga, sold as Scopoderm, is a tropane alkaloid drug with muscarinic antagonist effects. It is among the secondary metabolites of plants from Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants, such as henbane, jimson weed (Datura), angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia), and corkwood (Duboisia).
Since late last year, criminals have been using again the drug scopolamine, most known as burundanga. The number of cases in which this drug was used to rob houses or apartments has increased, Police authorities of the Capital District have processed complaints of victims who were subjected to the substance shortly before having had their home belongings robbed.
Scopolamine or burundanga is also known as the “rape drug”. It has a numbing effect. It also causes temporary amnesia and a deterioration of people’s will. Its most known dose form for criminal use is powder. It is usually secretly dissolved in drinks at night clubs. The same effects are accomplished upon mucous tissue exposure. Police sources have clarified that the drug powder does not cause effects upon skin exposure.
Criminal use of scopolamine has extended in Spain, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela. It was first used for sexual purposes, then as an aid in kidnappings or “millionaire rides” and now in house burglary.
There have been cases reported in Santa Fe, Bello Monte and El Paraiso, although of these cases, only the one in Santa Fe resulted in violence. Reports are often submitted after a few days. There have also been cases of violent house and apartment robberies in the Capital District. Criminal groups operate in Macaracuay, La Trinidad, La Florida and El Cementerio.
NOTE: Scopolamine can cause death depending on the victim’s physical condition. Vitamin C and atropine help revert its effects.
Getting robbed, kidnapped or even murdered is no longer something more probable during the night. In three municipalities of the Caracas Metropolitan Area, most crimes occur during the day. The situation is quite particular in each case; however, these crimes represent over 50% of the total reported or registered.
Daytime robberies in Chacao have increased 60%, said the deputy director of such municipality’s police department, who specified there hasn’t been an increase in crime, only it has migrated to daytime.
Baruta sees the same situation. Most crimes occur during the day, 70% of them perpetrated in motorcycles, said the municipal police director. Such vehicles allow criminals to run away through traffic faster.
The same has occurred in Sucre. According to the director of Polisucre, 60% of crimes occur during the day.
Criminals always strike where and when there are more possible victims. Caracas Residents’ reluctance to going out during the night has made criminals migrate to daytimes. This has made crime evolve, especially in middle-class neighborhoods. Kidnappings are now taking place before dawn, as people make their way to their jobs.
According to Chacao Police reports, in average, 10 crimes are perpetrated each day between 6 am and 6 pm, most of them before 3 pm. 78% of weekly robberies in this municipality take place during the day.