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Ukrainian behind over 100 UK suicide deaths – BBC

Leonid Zakutenko, a resident of Kiev, has been revealed by Britain’s state broadcaster the BBC to be a major poison supplier following a two-year investigation. The Ukrainian is reportedly active on a pro-suicide online platform and has been linked to at least 130 deaths in Britain alone.

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The journalists discovered the first traces of Zakutenko’s purported activities when they saw frequent mentions of a “Ukraine supplier” on a notorious online forum promoting suicide, which had tens of thousands of users from all over the world. The reporters then traced what they claimed were his online store, email address, and PayPal account, getting data on his identity.

In January 2022, BBC reporters contacted the man online, posing as a potential buyer, and he quickly confirmed that he could supply a chemical frequently used by those willing to take their own lives. However, when hostilities between Ukraine and Russia began in February 2022, they assumed that Zakutenko would no longer be able to run his business.

In May 2023, they decided to contact him again when another poison dealer was arrested in Canada. At that time, Zakutenko reportedly boasted that his business had grown amid the conflict, and he was sending “five parcels a week” to the UK alone, and was now offering “express” service to those willing to pay extra.

In January 2024, the journalists sought to meet the man in person through a Ukrainian fixer. In Ukraine, Zakutenko was an AirBnB “superhost” and initially agreed to meet his potential ‘poison buyers’ under the pretext of showing them an apartment for rent, according to the broadcaster.

However, the suspected dealer changed his plans at the last moment, and the meeting never took place. The BBC reporters still managed to track him down by ordering poison delivery online and intercepted him on his way out of a Kiev post office, where he was sending the agreed-upon parcel together with at least 14 other packages to various addresses around the world.

When confronted by the BBC in person, Zakutenko denied his involvement in any poison-selling activities, calling the accusations “a lie.” The broadcaster then alerted the British and Ukrainian authorities about the man’s alleged activities and the forum he had been active on.

The forum was still up as of Saturday, the BBC said. It remains unclear if any measures have been taken by either British or Ukrainian authorities against the suspect. According to the BBC, the new Online Safety Act allowed the British regulator Ofcom to take down the pro-suicide website, but the watchdog was reportedly still working on a way to implement the legislation, and any enforcement action was unlikely to happen for many months.

© 2024, paradox. All rights reserved.

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