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A British man who died after travelling to Turkey reportedly collapsed after taking a drug ahead of a teeth whitening operation – with police now hunting for the dentist who carried out the procedure.
Richard Molloy, 33, died on Saturday after on a trip to the seaside town of Marmaris with two friends who were also left critically ill.
It is unclear what caused Mr Molloy – known as Richie’s – death but it is reported he travelled to the holiday hotspot for a teeth whitening procedure.
The Belfast resident had jetted off to Turkey with two friends – father-of-two Declan Carson and Aaron Callaghan, a former player for St James' Swifts Football Club- before the tragedy.
They were transferred to a Turkish hospital where they were reportedly in comas over the weekend, however it is understood their conditions have now improved.
Family members of all three, including Mr Molloy's sister Lydia and Mr Callaghan's parents, Mark and Karen, flew into Milas Bodrum Airport at the weekend, The Belfast Telegraph reports.
Police in Turkey are reportedly trying to trace the dentist who treated the three men.
The trio are believed to have collapsed in their rented holiday apartment after taking a drug they were given prior to the whitening procedure.
Brit dies and two friends critical after flying to Turkey for dental work
Turkish newspaper Sözcü reported that one of the men asked for help from management after informing them that Mr Molloy had collapsed due to the effect of the drug.
The family of Mr Molloy are being assisted by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust to bring his body back to the UK later this week, provided there are no unexpected Covid-19 restrictions.
Colin Bell, who set the charity up in memory of his son who died abroad, told the Belfast Telegraph: "I have been in contact with Mr Molloy's sister, Lydia, who was due to meet with the undertaker later today.
"The repatriation will take about four or five days as Richie's body will have to be released to the undertaker, hopefully later today or tomorrow.
"Preparations will then have to be made to fly him home and all the various papers signed too."
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Tributes have since flooded in for “absolute gentleman” Richie along with his two friends.
A salon in Belfast has paid tribute on its Facebook page to the Belfast man who "always brought a smile".
Simon Flannery Male Grooming said: “We received heart breaking news over the weekend that one of our clients of over a decade, Richie Molloy, has passed away while on holiday in Turkey.
“Richie was a true gentlemen and always brought a smile and laughter to the salon. Everyone who works and has worked in the shop and met Richie will miss his dearly.”
Aaron Callaghan, one of the men still in hospital, is a former player for St James’ Swifts Football Club.
The club’s Twitter page wrote: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to former first team player Aaron Callaghan today.
“Everyone at the club are thinking of you during this time and we have both you (and) your friends within our hearts.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said it was supporting the family of a British man who died in Turkey and was in contact with Turkish authorities.
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