1. ITV Report

Man suspected of selling fatal diet pills to British woman Bethany Shipsey has been arrested in Ukraine

  • Written and video report by ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster

A man, who is suspected of selling deadly diet pills online to a British woman who died, has been arrested in Ukraine.

Bethany Shipsey purchased the fat burning pills, which have now been linked to 26 deaths in the UK, for £150.

A stash of pills found at the suspect's home. Credit: Ukraine Police

The tablets contained the highly toxic substance 2,4 Dinitrophenol (DNP) and were posted to her home in Worcestershire in a DVD case to avoid being detected.

Since Bethany’s death in February 2017, her parents have campaigned for authorities to do more to close down websites which make it easy to obtain such deadly pills.

Bethany was just 21-years-old when she died in 2017. Credit: Family handout

The arrest, which was filmed by the Ukrainian authorities, is thought to be the first action taken against a foreign national who has supplied DNP that led to the death of a British citizen.

Ukrainian Police said it was only as a result of the intelligence from the UK that they were able to take action.

During a search of the suspect’s home in the Khmelnitsky region, police officers found 10 kilograms of pills containing steroids and 10 kilograms of other chemical substances used to produce pills, as well as laboratory equipment.

A spokesperson for the police said the suspect had two websites which sold drugs to Europe and the Ukraine. Officers believe he was making tablets from chemical substances obtained from China.

Police believe the suspect was making tablets from chemical substances obtained from China. Credit: Ukraine Police

Speaking to ITV News shortly after the news of the arrest, Doug Shipsey said the family had refused to believe the development until they had it confirmed by the authorities here.They had discovered news of the arrest from reports online in the Ukrainian and Russian press.

Doug and his wife Carole gave a cautious welcome to the news.

The DVD case Bethany received her pills in. Credit: Ukraine Police

"Part of me feels it's good news, it is good news, but also very saddened, it makes it more real, in a sense," Carole told ITV News.

She continued: "I didn't think this would happen, because we're nearly two years on and I really thought because where he lives that we couldn't really access him, couldn't really pursue a prosecution. But this gives me a lot of hope."

A spokesperson for Ukraine police said British intelligence had helped find the suspect. Credit: Ukraine Police

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for shutting down websites believed to be selling DNP for human consumption.

Since 2015 more than 30 websites have been closed worldwide.