Jail for UK man running illicit medicine mail-order business

UK policeA Portuguese man has been sent to jail for 44 months in the UK for running an illicit drug mailing operation.

38-year-old Mahomed Bacai pleaded guilty to five offences related to forgery, possession of false identity documents and conspiracy to supply: Class C drugs, prescription-only medicines and medicines not on the General Sales List.

The operation resulted in the seizure of approximately £1.6m ($2.4m) of unlicensed medicines - including "vast amounts of counterfeit and unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines" according to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - as well as prescription-only-medicines and Class C drugs.

The MHRA started its investigation in January 2011 following seizures of medicines by the UK Border Agency in Coventry. Bacai's operation involved him hiring mailboxes using false documentation and fake names, which were then used to receive packages from suppliers in India and China. The packages were then re-packed at his home address and sent on to his international customer base.

The MHRA carried out a raid of Bacai’s home address in Addlestone, Surrey, in June 2011 and discovered medicines stored in unsanitary conditions, including a garden shed. The seizure included powerful Class C drugs such as the opiate tramadol, tranquiliser diazepam and vials of testosterone.

"Prescription-only medicines and controlled substances such as Tramadol and Diazepam are potent substances," said Nimo Ahmed, MHRA's acting Head of Enforcement.

"They can cause serious harm if not taken under the supervision of a doctor or other appropriate healthcare professional and obtained through a registered pharmacy."

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