Wave of Drugs Seized

7 05 2010

I found this article posted a day ago… 650,000 fake diet capsules and 240 kg of raw materials were commandeered and 3 suspects were arrested in Taichung, Hsinchu and Tainan cities. Here is the article called Big Haul of Fake Drugs Seized from Focus Taiwan News Channel. This was posted May 6, 2010 by Chen Chao-fu and Deborah Kuo.

Kaohsiung, May 6 (CNA) Law enforcement authorities raided locations in Taichung, Hsinchu and Tainan cities Wednesday in a fake drug crackdown, seizing some 650,000 fake diet capsules and 240 kg of raw materials and arresting three suspects, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office said Thursday.

The authorities had been looking for the capsules since last December after the prosecutors formed a task force to investigate the case. Soon after the task force was formed, prosecutors began receiving complaints from the public of palpitations and dizziness after consuming the capsules, prosecutors said.

Upon analysis, the capsules were found to contain phenolphthalein, a cancer-causing organic acid that has been banned since 2001, prosecutors said.

The capsules were also found to contain N-desmethylsibutramine, which can cause dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, palpitations, vomiting and dizziness, they added.

The weight-loss capsules have been marketed in many drug stores around Taiwan, according to the prosecutors.

The producer first sent qualified products to a health office for examination and approval and after obtaining a certificate for the bona fide capsules, began producing and distributing the fake and substandard products around the country, the prosecutors said.

The three suspects will be charged with fraud and with offenses under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act.

According to the act, manufacturers and sellers of counterfeit drugs can be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to NT$10 million.

In the event of death from the consumption of such drugs, the manufacturers and sellers can face prison sentences of 10 years to life, and in the case of serious health damage, the offenders can get up to seven years.

Individuals who are knowingly involved in the supply, prescription, delivery, storage and display of counterfeit and controlled drugs can be subject to imprisonment for up to seven years, plus a fine of up to NT$5 million, the law stipulates.

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