Counterfeiters in Nigeria and America receive heavy punishment
20th August 2012
Over the course of this calendar year, there has been an endless number of cases to emerge that involve the production and distribution of counterfeit medicines, and these are only the ones that authorities have managed to successfully shut down. There are illegal operations still active all across the globe, with criminals always trying to conjure up new methods of tricking the public into purchasing these dangerous medicines. However, their activities cannot and will not last forever, with Medical Specialists Pharmacy and many other organisations around the world determined to bring them to justice. Therefore it brings us with great delight to report of two such instances to occur in the last few weeks of criminals finding their comeuppance. The first happened just 11 days ago in Nigeria and surprisingly did not involve erectile dysfunction medications, which seems to be a common type of counterfeited drug. Instead it was antimalarials such as Malarone and Paludrine that had found themselves being the source of imitation. After receiving knowledge about the existence of the fake drugs, officers from The Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) swooped onto a market within the south-eastern city of Enugu. After the raid, authorities had amassed a haul of $15,000 worth of fake pharmaceuticals, which could have proved fatal if sold to the unsuspecting public of Nigeria. Fake drugs are often manufactured in dirty, unhygienic warehouses and sometimes can contain little or no of the genuine active ingredient, or remarkably harmful industrial compounds. Udekpo Ekpo, acting head, south-east zone at NAFDAC, spoke of the capture of the drugs and said, “This exercise was actually necessitated by reports that there are some fake brands of antimalarial drugs in the market. Some of them are in the market without NAFDAC registration number.” Just one week after this bust in Nigeria, 40 year old Gregory Bochter found out the hard way that dealing with counterfeit drugs does not pay. Bochter, of Volusia County, Florida, initially submitted a guilty plea back in May to the trafficking of the two popular counterfeit erectile dysfunction medications, Viagra and Cialis. He had obtained the fake pills from China, one of the world’s biggest exporters of counterfeit drugs. Homeland Security investigators had managed to intervene and apprehend one of his shipments and discovered in excess of 1,300 prescription pills. The pills only comprised of just 30% of their active ingredient, thus meaning they would probably be ineffective to any unsuspecting men who bought them. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials claim that even after they had seized Bochter’s delivery of fake pills, he then brazenly continued to be involved in more illegal trafficking for another two months. Unfortunately for him, he has now been sentenced to eight months behind bars and is being forced to cough up a hefty $150,000 in restitution fees.  If this wasn’t bad enough for, Bochter faces three years of supervised release upon his return to society in 2020.