Illegal Medicines Seized Across Ireland

Counterfeit medicines have been seized from the post in the Irish Republic after a week long international operation that also saw £150,000 of medicines seized in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Medicines Board, Customs and Gardaí recovered over 51,600 counterfeit and illegal medicines worth €150,000 in a bid to clamp down on the Internet sale of illegal medicines.

Tablets, capsules and creams were seized when 492 packages were detained by Customs in Ireland.

Most of the substances were for weight loss, erectile dysfunction or were mood stabilisers.

Other substances found were steroids, antibiotics, painkillers, cardiac medicines, cholesterol lowering products, cancer medicines and insulin.

In NI, drugs worth £150,000 have also been seized during a parallel operation targeting the online sale of similar counterfeit and illegal medicines including steroids, mephedrone, pain relief injections and diazepam.

More than 150 packages were intercepted destined for addresses throughout Northern Ireland.
News Image
Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots said the primary goal of the operation was to protect the public: "It is vital that we get the message across that when you purchase medicines from an illegal supplier online, you just don't know what you are taking," he said.

Over 80 countries took part in Operation Pangea IV which saw £5m of drugs recovered worldwide and 13,000 websites closed down.

The initiative was part of an international week of action co-ordinated by Interpol and involved over 80 countries.

About 1.2 million suspect doses were discovered during the operation as a whole.

More than £5 million-worth of unlicensed pharmaceuticals were found across the globe and it is being hailed as the "largest operation of its kind".

Seizures relating to the industry in Britain have risen sixfold over the past year, according to figures from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency.

The Interpol-led operation, which concluded on Tuesday also came after two English schoolgirls were admitted to hospital with heart problems caused by weight loss pills bought online.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 November 2011
Dud Animal Medicines Seized In Co Antrim
Medicines Enforcement Officers have seized substantial quantities of unauthorised and illegal veterinary medicines from a residential property in Ballymena. The drugs haul, worth several thousand pounds, included veterinary antibiotics and other veterinary medicines intended for the treatment of large numbers of farm animals.
08 November 2019
Other News In Brief
PM Avoiding Public Scrutiny With NI Visit- Sinn Fein Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing accusations of avoiding public scrutiny after his "clandestine" visit to Northern Ireland. The Conservative party leader visited the Tayto Factory in Tandragee, Co Armagh on Thursday evening amid his campaign for the upcoming General Election on December 12.
01 November 2019
BBC Three Scheme Launches For NI Production Firms
BBC Three is inviting independent production companies based in Northern Ireland to submit format ideas as part of a youth content development scheme with the promise of a factual entertainment series for the channel.
28 June 2013
Over £100k Illegal Medicine Seized
Over £100,000 worth of illegal medicines have been seized in Northern Ireland as part of a coordinated operation between the Department of Health Medicines Regulatory Group and Interpol. The move was part of a larger, international crackdown on black market medicines.
01 November 2019
Police Urge Hughes Brothers To Come Forward
The Chief Investigating Officer looking into the deaths of 39 people in a trailer in Essex has urged Armagh brothers Ronan and Christopher Hughes to hand themselves in. Essex Police travelled to Belfast today to issue the direct appeal. It comes over a week since the mass fatality was discovered in a container in Grays last week.