- A British man named Sam Little has been arrested in Uganda on allegations of promoting “Miracle Mineral Solution” – actually a type of toxic bleach – as a cure for malaria and HIV.
- Business Insider earlier this week published an investigation into MMS advocates who found a haven for promoting their bogus theories on YouTube.
- Separate reports have identified MMS advocates administering the substance on a large scale in African countries, where it is easier to gain access to the healthcare system.
- The police said Little was arrested on suspicion of “intoxicating the public” with MMS.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A British man named Sam Little has been arrested on allegations of distributing a type of toxic bleach he said could cure illnesses including malaria and HIV, Ugandan police told Business Insider on Thursday.
Little, 25, from Arlesey in Bedfordshire, England, was in Uganda to promote so-called Miracle Mineral Solution, which proponents claim can cure almost any medical condition.
The police said Little had been detained, along with two local men, on suspicion of “intoxicating the public” with MMS.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, MMS produces chlorine dioxide, a toxic bleach that can cause nausea and severe dehydration if ingested in large doses.
This week, Business Insider published an extensive investigation into MMS advocates who found a platform for promoting the substance on YouTube.
In March, Little uploaded footage to his YouTube channel where he can be seen giving the substance to people with malaria in a health center in Kyankwanzi, in western Uganda.
In the course of investigating MMS, Business Insider flagged Little's video to officials at Uganda's National Drug Authority earlier this month.
Little's arrest on Thursday was confirmed to Business Insider by Lydia Tumushabe, a spokeswoman for the police in the western region of Rwenzori.
In a statement on Thursday, Tumushabe said Little had been arrested alongside two Ugandan men, Samuel Albert, 27, described as a "driver and herbalist," and Samula Tadeop, 25.
"They were arrested on allegation of intoxicating the public with a chemical named as Mineral Miracle Solution (MMS) believed to be known as Chlorine Dioxide in parts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Kasese districts," she said.
She said that liquids used in purifying water had been seized during the arrest and that the three were being detained at the Fort Portal police station while officers investigate.
"We strongly appeal to the general public and in particular the Christian community to be careful and report any suspicious activities in line with above and urge the victims to come up and assist police in investigations," she said.
The Uganda Radio Network published a picture that appears to show the three being questioned by the police.
In a phone interview with Business Insider in April, Little denied that MMS causes illness and said he was acting "out of the kindness of my heart" in distributing MMS in Uganda.
"I didn't have to come here to Africa," he said. "I could be spending my money on holidays.
"I'm quite wealthy; I've spent a lot of money helping people in my life. In different ways, not just with MMS. To tell me I'm doing what I'm doing is bad, that upsets me," he said at the time.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Ugandan Health Ministry, Ainebyoona Emmanuel, said the ministry hopes the arrest will help it pursue investigations into MMS.
"Already, the National Drug Authority working alongside security agencies has obtained samples for testing," he said.
Separately, Ugandan authorities said Tuesday that they were seeking to arrest Robert Baldwin, a US pastor accused of remotely running a network importing MMS to Uganda. A report by The Guardian published Saturday said Baldwin's network had given MMS to 50,000 people in Uganda.