Craze For Bizarre Car-Exhaust Drug Raises Alarm in Congo's Capital

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Craze For Bizarre Car-Exhaust Drug Raises Alarm in Congo’s Capital
© Provided by News18 Craze For Bizarre Car-Exhaust Drug Raises Alarm in Congo’s Capital

A new drug known as ‘bombe’ obtained from the exhaust filter of crushed vehicles has become a cause of concern for authorities of Kinshasa, the capital city of Congo. The authorities have launched a campaign against the drug and a related persistent theft of car parts.

According to the reports, earlier in August following a call to action against the drug by Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, the police caught around 100 alleged dealers and users of it. In the local Lingala language bombe means powerful.

Speaking to a local media outlet, terming it as a social phenomenon, a user of the drug said that it is a collective responsibility of the whole nation. The drug is brown in color and it is obtained in powder form after crushing the ceramic honeycomb core of automotive catalytic converters.

The automobile mechanics of Kinshasa blame the rise in demand for the drug for the theft of catalytic converters. The catalytic converters are covered with layers of metals such as rhodium, platinum and palladium. These converters are commonly installed in cars to reduce carbon emissions from toxic gases and exhaust pipes.

After taking this powder, the person stays in one position for hours without moving. The user stays in the same condition for a few hours and in some cases for a few days. They wander like zombies. Now those who take these drugs are called zombies of Kinshasa.

Professor Ndelo Di Panzu talking to Radio OCP explained that after consuming the drug young people faint even when they are awake. They start sleeping while standing. They start scratching their own hands and their facial expressions change. Sometimes they cry and sometimes they laugh without any reason. The sense of cleanliness disappears from them. Their sense of eating, drinking and sleeping also ends.

The drug is very cheap, it’s easy to buy and sell it. Those who want to forget their poverty are using it indiscriminately. This is the reason that while the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic the Democratic Republic of Congo is forced to struggle with zombie-creating drugs.

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