Ukraine official suspected of importing fake medicines

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) is investigating the chief of a department in the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control, on suspicion of importing and selling of counterfeit medicines.

According to an SSU update, an enforcement operation "exposed and blocked" the illegal trade, which is reported to have involved a "large batch of low-quality foreign medicines" worth a total of UAH 32m ($790,000) brought into the Ukrainian market.

The operation comes amid a fresh wave of anticorruption raids on high-profile figures in Ukraine, which has included other figures including former interior minister Arsen Avakov. The leaders of the customs service have also been fired, according to a BBC report.

The investigation established that the unidentified official had facilitated the approval of false information on the medicines in official documents, assisting a private business person in arranging for the medicines to be imported.

The head of the unnamed commercial entity and the civil servant have told they are under suspicion of committing the crime of counterfeiting medicines or trafficking in counterfeit medicines.

The findings of comprehensive examinations confirmed that the imported medicines did not comply with the laws of Ukraine.

"The investigation is ongoing to identify all those who may be involved in the offence," said the SSU in a statement, adding that the counterfeit medicines will be withdrawn from circulation.

The raid was carried out by the SSU jointly with the National Police of Kyiv under the supervision of Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office.

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