Dozens of people in the UK died after buying a poisonous substance from a seller in Canada, who is accused of helping people to take their own lives.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) could not confirm the chemical was the direct cause of the 88 deaths but has launched a criminal investigation.
British police have been making welfare visits to hundreds of addresses to trace buyers across the country.
Kenneth Law was arrested in Toronto in May, accused of assisting suicide.
The 57-year-old is thought to have run a number of websites selling equipment to assist suicide.
Canadian authorities believe he sent 1,200 packages to customers in more than 40 countries, though it is not known how many included the poisonous substance.
BBC News is not naming the chemical allegedly sold by Mr Law.
Peel Regional Police said they began investigating the case in April following the sudden death of an adult in the Toronto area.
Alleged links between Mr Law and deaths in the UK first surfaced in an undercover investigation by The Times the same month.
Since Mr Law’s arrest, police forces across the UK have been making welfare checks on everyone who ordered the substance.
The NCA, which was coordinating the checks, said that 272 people in the UK had been identified as buying from Mr Law over a two-year period.
The NCA says 88 of them later died, but at this stage there are no confirmed links between the items purchased from the websites and cause of death.
NCA deputy director Craig Turner said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of those who have died. They are being supported by specially trained officers from police forces.
“In consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the NCA has taken the decision to conduct an investigation into potential criminal offences committed in the UK. This operation is under way.”