The content of this website is intended for healthcare professionals only

Jail sentence for illicit drug mailing operation

Seizure of £1.6m unlicensed, prescription-only-medicines and class C drugs

Adrian O'Dowd

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A man has been sentenced to 44 months in jail after being found guilty of running an illicit drug mailing operation in the UK.

Mahomed Bacai, aged 38, of Addlestone, Surrey, who is a Portuguese national, admitted five offences including forgery, possession of false identity documents and conspiracy to supply class C drugs, prescription-only medicines and medicines not on the General Sales List.

Bacai was sentenced on 22 February at Guildford Crown Court to 44 months imprisonment for running an illicit drug mailing operation.

The operation resulted in around £1.6 million worth of unlicensed, prescription-only-medicines and class C drugs seized as part of an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The MHRA started its investigation in January 2011 following seizures of medicines by the UK Border Agency in Coventry.

The agency said 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.

MHRA enforcement officers raided Bacai’s home address in Addlestone in June 2011 where medicines totalling £1.5 million were found stored in unsanitary conditions, including a garden shed.

The seizure included large amounts of counterfeit and unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines, as well as powerful class C drugs such as the opiate Tramadol, tranquiliser drug Diazepam and vials of testosterone.

Following further intelligence work, more medicines destined for Bacai’s home address were seized and he was arrested.

Nimo Ahmed, MHRA acting head of enforcement said: “We are committed to pursuing those involved in the illicit supply of medicines and taking action to ensure that public health is protected.

“Prescription-only medicines and controlled substances such as Tramadol and Diazepam are potent substances. 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.

"We urge people to only take prescription-only medicines after an appropriate consultation with their GP.”

Registered in England and Wales. Reg No. 2530185. c/o Wilmington plc, 5th Floor, 10 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 8QS. Reg No. 30158470