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FIA raids warehouses, seizes illegal drugs

December 18, 2016

A large quantity of banned, smuggled sex enhancement drugs including sprays, tablets, creams, and capsules was seized by the Federal Investigation Agency and the federal drug inspectors in a raid at two warehouses at Motandas Market and the Medicine Market, also called Katchi Gali, in Saddar, officials said on Saturday.

The raids by the FIA and the federal drug inspectors were conducted on the complaint of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, which has launched a drive against banned sex enhancement drugs being sold in the market throughout the country. These drugs are smuggled into the country from Dubai and other Gulf countries.

An FIA official said, “The raids were conducted at Zain Corner, Shop No.200 Gate No 1 Motandas Market on MA Jinnah Road, Karachi and Al-Madina, Shop No.1, Medicine Market and found a huge quantity of spurious /counterfeit, sub-standard, unwarranted and unregistered drugs.

The official added that these places were identified by DRAP officials in Karachi.

The official said the drugs found at the two warehouses were not registered in Pakistan and their sale was not allowed in the country.

He added that the samples were acquired by DRAP officials for analysis and sent to laboratories and cases under Drug Act 1976 had been lodged against the owners of the warehouses.

“Two FIRs Nos. 40/2016 and 41/2016 under sections 23 and 27 along with Section 30 of Drug Act-1976 have been registered against Shahid Adamjee, the proprietor of Zain Corner and Altaf Hussain Shaikhani, s/o Abu Bakar Shaikhani, the proprietor of Al-Madina,” he added. The official said an investigation had been launched into the racket of bringing and distributing spurious, banned drugs and products in the country.

DRAP officials said they had launched the campaign against people bringing and spreading banned sex enhancement drugs and products in the country after health authorities complained that these medicines were causing cases of renal and liver failure, heart attack and stroke and other serious heath repercussions for their consumers.

“The DRAP has launched a widespread campaign against people who are smuggling banned drugs into the country and causing serious health issues for the consumers who are unaware of the repercussions of using these products”, DRAP CEO Dr. Muhammad Aslam told The News.

The drug regulatory authority chief said most of these banned drugs were of Indian and Chinese origin. They are acquired from Dubai by smugglers and brought to Pakistan via air and sea routes and then distributed in the entire country from Karachi.

“Under the Drug Act 1976, the sale of these drugs and products, which are not registered in Pakistan, carries a sentence of 10 years in jail with a fine of Rs1 million,” Aslam said.

Pakistan’s drug watchdog chief said sildenafil citrate or Viagra was a banned drug in Pakistan and the sale or possession of the medicine or its variants was a criminal offence.

DRAP chief Dr Muhammad Aslam said most of the drugs sold for sexual enhancement in the local market were banned.

He said the pharmaceutical company which had launched sildenafil citrate in the world, had applied for its registration in Pakistan but the law and religious affairs ministries had objected to it noting that it was against the social and cultural values of the country.

“But sildenafil citrate, manufactured in India, China and other countries, is being smuggled into the country along with several other banned drugs and products. These are hazardous compounds and can’t be allowed to be sold in the local market,” Dr Aslam added.