Three Essex men receieve sentences after producing and selling fake drugs
4th October 2012
Tuesday afternoon saw three men sentenced at Southend Crown Court for a total of 18 months for the possession and distribution of controlled drugs and prescription only medicines over the internet. One of the guilty trio’s sentences also included a charge of unauthorised use of a trademark and the manufacture of controlled drugs (anabolic steroids). The three were confirmed as 27-year-old Nicholas Boys from Southend, who was slapped with an 18-month imprisonment, along with 50-year-old Eric Rudanec from South and 43 year-old-Mark Rosson from Westcliffe-on-Sea. Both Rudanec and Rosson received six month suspended sentences for 12 months and will be forced to undergo 150 hours of unpaid labour. The convictions came about after  the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) decided to take a thorough look into the website and thousands of other similar ones, which you can read about here. Following this investigation, MHRA officers swooped onto two locations within Southend-on-Sea and seized over £220,000 worth of drugs including anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and various other prescription only medicines. To trace the initial source of the illegal substances, the MHRA also took the criminals’ mobiles phones and laptops, managing to find that there had been numerous requests from the three regarding orders for huge quantities of anabolic steroids and raw materials including steroid powder. In addition to the drugs and electronics that were seized, laboratory equipment and paraphernalia to be used for the home production of anabolic steroid medicines was also taken to be analysed.  The dangerous steroid products had been labelled up by the crooks as 'Medipharma'. Lab tests later confirmed the presence of either small or unpredictable levels of their alleged ingredient. MHRA Acting Head of Enforcement, Nimo Ahmed, spoke out on the sentences handed down to the three men, and he echoed a lot of comments that Medical Specialists Pharmacy has said previously regarding the issue. He said, “This case demonstrates the lengths some people will go to make money. These people had no regard for the health of others and the thought of home manufacture of anabolic steroids is frightening. Anabolic steroids are very potent medicines which should only be taken when prescribed by healthcare professionals following diagnosis of serious medical conditions.” This is what we said less than a month ago when we reported about the new CD3 counterfeit drug scanners:  “Medical Specialists Pharmacy is one of the leading companies in the global fight against the huge problem of counterfeit drugs. It leaves us incredibly angry to know that there are still scheming crooks active all over the world that are looking to make a quick profit against the well-being and safety of innocent people. Unlike us, these types of criminals have absolutely no regards for the health of the unsuspecting public who are purchasing the cheaper knock-offs. Many counterfeit drugs contain little or none of the active ingredient, or may even contain dangerous chemicals that can quite easily result in death or permanent disability.” Adding to Nimo Ahmed’s words was Dave Bagnall, from the Border Force at Coventry international postal hub. He said, “The case came to the attention of the MHRA after intelligence was received from Barclaycard regarding the registration of two websites and a detection by Border Force officers at Coventry international postal hub. Our officers are on constant alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to keep fake and unlicensed medicines, as well as other illegal goods, out of the UK. Border Force officers have a vital role to play in protecting British consumers and businesses from the trade in black market medicines and other goods. Smugglers are only out to make a profit. These goods are often dangerous and the proceeds can be used to fuel serious organised crime.”