1.5m tramadol tablets stolen in UK heist

Pharmaceutical cargo theft has hit the headlines once again as criminals made away with more than 1.5m powerful painkiller capsules from a truck parked in a service station on the M61 motorway in the UK.

The theft at the Hartshead Moor services in West Yorkshire – which took place sometime before 10pm on March 6 and 5am the following morning - was “highly likely” to be a targeted theft, according to a BBC report which cited West Yorkshire Police. All told, the thieves made away with 5,072 tramadol packs, each containing 100 tablets.

There is a ready market for opioid painkillers such as tramadol, which are legitimately prescribed for chronic pain but is increasingly being diverted – or indeed counterfeited – by criminals hoping to make quick money selling doses to addicts.

With prescription and addiction rates rising fast in the UK, particularly in the north, there have been calls to set up a national database of prescriptions to keep track of users.

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