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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Tory researcher has been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after police found the party drug GBL in parcels sent to the head office of one of Yorkshire’s largest councils.

A Tory researcher has been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after police found the party drug GBL in parcels sent to the head office of one of Yorkshire’s largest councils.

Martin Thomas, 38, was detained by detectives investigating suspicious packages delivered to North Yorkshire Council’s County Hall headquarters in Northallerton.

He is employed by the council as a research and communications officer for the Conservative group, which controls the authority with a 22-seat majority.

The council last night confirmed it had suspended Mr Thomas, who worked from an office in County Hall.

Officers from the UK Border Agency arrested the researcher at his home in Northallerton after receiving a tip-off that drugs were being smuggled into Yorkshire from abroad.

The Yorkshire Post understands they are investigating a number of parcels which were delivered to his home, as well as those sent to County Hall.

Said to have euphoric and sedative effects, GBL, or gamma-butyrolactone, became an increasingly popular drug on the party scene in the late 2000s.

But supplying the drug, which is usually sold as an odourless liquid in small bottles or capsules, was made illegal in 2009 after the Government came under growing pressure to ban so-called “legal highs”. A common solvent used in paint strippers and stain removers, it is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act as a Class C substance like tranquillisers, ketamine and some painkillers

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