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M'sian authorities bust Myanmar drug ring

Publication Date : 24-01-2014

 

A Myanmar syndicate selling unregistered drugs, including aphrodisiacs, has been busted by health enforcers in a series of raids here that netted pills weighing up to 10 tonnes.

City Heath Department deputy director (pharmacy) Syed Fadzli Syed Syialuddin said the authorities spent a month gathering intelligence on the syndicate and identified five locations – three stores and two bungalows in Bangsar and Persiaran Syed Putra – which were used to store the pills.

Other than aphrodisiacs, the haul worth an estimated 2.1 million ringgit (US$630,535) included painkillers, antibio­tics, antihistamines, antacids, psychotropic pills, contraceptives and motion sickness pills. They were mostly made in Myanmar and India.

Four Myanmar nationals operating from a shop in Lebuh Pudu here were also detained in the raids by the department’s pharmacy enforcement division on Thursday.

The drugs were not registered with the health ministry, and some even contained scheduled poisons and violated the Food Act.

“We believe they were smuggled through land and sea in boxes labelled as food, and sold to Myanmar nationals in the city.

“The medicine is in quite high demand as it is nearly twice cheaper than the legal ones, and are the preferred choice among foreigners here,” Syed Fadzli told reporters.

A health department officer revealed that the shop in Lebuh Pudu, which is the sole profit centre for the syndicate that has operated for more than 10 years, was making a minimum of 5,000 ringgit ($1,501) per day selling drugs.

Syed Fadzli added that such illicit activities were detrimental to the economy as revenue streams were being directed away from the local pharmaceutical industry.

“I urge the public to buy only approved health products,” he said.

 

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