UK police say 88 people who bought sodium nitrite from Canadian websites have died

London: British police said Friday they are investigating the deaths of 88 people in the U.K. who bought products from Canada-based websites allegedly offering lethal substances to people at risk of self harm.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said it has identified 232 people in the U.K. who bought products from the websites in the two years until April, 88 of whom had died.

The agency said it was investigating whether any crimes had been committed in the U.K., but that “at this early stage there are no confirmed links between the items purchased from the websites and cause of death in any of these cases.”

“Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of those who have died. They are being supported by specially trained officers from police forces,” said National Crime Agency Deputy Director Craig Turner.

The probe is part of international inquiries sparked by the arrest of Canadian Kenneth Law, who has been charged with two counts of counselling and aiding suicide.

Peel Police say 11 police services from across Ontario are now involved in a joint investigation into Law, 57, of Mississauga, Ont.

Ontario police say they are investigating a Mississauga, Ont., man after a U.K. newspaper reported he was selling a potentially lethal, but legal, substance online to people overseas looking to end their lives.

Law is accused of using a series of websites to market and sell sodium nitrite, a substance commonly used to cure meats that can be deadly if ingested. Police said Law is suspected of sending at least 1,200 packages to more than 40 countries.

Authorities in the United States, Italy, Australia and New Zealand also have launched investigations.