A six-year-old boy and three adults from Guyana died yesterday after unwittingly ingesting the contents of a bottle of SSS tonic, which was laced with cocaine and was to have been smuggled to the US.

Guyana police are questioning two persons following the tragic deaths on Sunday.

One other person – a child – is battling for his life in hospital.

Police said that those killed are Simone “Ngina” Price, 36, her husband, Alex Blair, 42; her seven-year-old son Jahaquel Blair and her best friend, Natasha George, 36.

Price’s elder son, Jamal Waterman, 12, is in a critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

“Investigations so far have revealed that the bottle of SSS Tonic with the cocaine dissolved inside, along with casareep and chicken foot, had been left at the house by a man known to them, for a female guest from overseas to take back when she was returning. She, however, did not carry the items and during this morning the victims consumed some of the SSS Tonic which had been left in their possession,” police said.

Meanwhile, several legal experts said they are unsure what charges, if any, the two suspects may face. One lawyer explained that it’s highly unlikely that they can be charged with murder or manslaughter.

Legal experts have advised that for the men to be charged, the prosecution has to establish that the suspect intentionally set out to poison the persons. It was explained that the laws in Guyana are not as stringent with matters of this gravity. The suspect could more than likely be charged with trafficking in narcotics but even that would be a stretch the expert explained.

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