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Illegal medicines worth €500k seized

Ireland joined a co-ordinated international Interpol operation targeting the sale of illegal and counterfeit medicine.

A seizure made by South African customs officers as part of the world-wide operation.
A seizure made by South African customs officers as part of the world-wide operation.

A COORDINATED OPERATION by the gardaí, Customs and the Irish Medicines Board has resulted in a haul of 262,000 tablets and capsules with a value of around €500,000 being seized, RTÉ reports.

The seizure took place as part of an Interpol co-ordinated international week of action, aimed at targeting the illegal and counterfeit medicine trade.

As a result of the operation, five website in Ireland were closed and one person has been arrested.

The majority of the products seized were mood stabilisers, weight loss products and products for erectile dysfunction, according to Pat O’ Mahony, Chief Executive of the Irish Medicines Board (IMB).

The IMB said that while most of the medicines were genuine and safe, some of the products seized posed risks to users. These products included ingredients, such as Sibutramine, that are banned within the EU because of associated health risks associated.

The international operation saw 290 websites being shut down and 1m tablets being seized.

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Most of the medicines seized were erectile dysfunction pills, weight loss tablets, antibiotics, hormones and steroid products, anti-depressants, pain killers, cardiac medication, anti-cholesterol, stimulants/amphetamines, cancer medication and insulin.

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