Naushad Gaffar and Asif Patel were sentenced at Southwark Crown court after £5,072,886 worth of unlicensed drugs were found in their possession.
Following an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), two million doses of potent drugs were seized, the Agency’s largest ever seizure at the time.
Both Gaffar and Patel pleaded guilty to multiple counts of conspiracy to sell potent anxiety pills, cancer drugs and powerful painkillers such as tramadol. London-based Patel was assisted by Gaffar who made regular trips from Leicester to transport unlicensed medicines and help Patel with his illegal business.
During a 2015 operation, an undercover operative instructed by MHRA, met with Gaffar, who claimed he had ‘a present from India’ and as he passed over the parcel of unlicensed medicines, exclaimed “with me you get better stuff”.
Gaffar and Patel received 21 months and 3 years immediate custody respectively.
Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA Head of Enforcement said:
Medicines purchased outside the regulated supply chain can be dangerous, and there is no assurance of quality and standards. There can be devastating consequences to your health.
We are cracking down on perpetrators to make sure this type of crime does not pay. MHRA is currently running the #FakeMeds campaign to warn people against buying potentially dangerous or useless unlicensed medicines sold by illegal online suppliers.
Visit http://www.gov.uk/fakemeds for tips on buying medicines safely online and how to avoid unscrupulous sites.