Dubai: Use of a recently-banned drug known as Spice caused two deaths in Dubai this year, while 10 cases were filed against abusers in July, according to Public Prosecution.

The drug was listed on the prohibited drug list as of May 31, which makes the UAE the first country in the region to ban it, Walid Ali Al Fuqai, Director of Drugs Prosecution, said.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Al Fuaqai said there were 10 cases related to Spice abuse in July, which were referred to prosecution.

After listing Spice as a banned drug, prosecutors started receiving cases from Dubai Police related to abuse and sale of the drug, which Al Fuqai described as lethal.

“It can cause death and has a stronger effect on the human body than heroin and cocaine, as it damages the nerve system,” he said.

The drug is a mix of synthetic cannabis and other chemicals, which causes hallucination, uncontrolled laughing, panic and failure to estimate distances.

Al Fuqai said the first victim as a result of taking Spice was a GCC citizen who was driving under the influence of the drug and crashed his car and got killed as a result of his severe injuries.

“The second victim was a Russian man who, under the influence of Spice, thought he could fly and jumped from a balcony. He was killed instantly,” he added.

Al Fuqai said banning the drug was a good step because it is very dangerous.

One of the cases referred to Public Prosecution was an attempt to smuggle Spice into the UAE on June 25.

“Dubai Customs suspected a shipment and opened it for inspection in the presence of the person who was going to receive it in Dubai, a 22-year-old Asian man.

The man confessed that he had bought the drugs through the internet and was charged with possession of Spice, which was the first case since the drug was banned,” Al Fuqai said.

The suspect said he ordered the drug for trying out and denied his knowledge that it was a banned drug, Al Fuqai added.