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Philippines Customs seizes 17 pallets of illicit fake drugs

Philippines Customs seizes 17 pallets of illicit fake drugs

MANILA: Philippines Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized 17 pallets containing fake smuggled drugs in Parañaque City here the other day.

BOC said the fake drugs, which originated from Karachi, Pakistan, were discovered at a warehouse in Barangay Vitalez, near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2.

The fake drugs allegedly arrived in the Philippines last December 19.

Nestor Añonuevo, acting chief of the BOC intelligence division, said the fake drugs were discovered through the help of other government agencies who caught wind of the shipment, which was consigned to a certain Richard Sorioso.

The faked medicine brands include anti-psoriasis and skin allergy ointments like “Betnovate” and “Dermovate”; female hormonal drugs “Duphaston” and “Diane”; vascular disease drug “Daflon”; anti-hypertension drug “Plendil”; anti-vertigo medicine “Stugeron”; diabetes drug “Glucophage”; and abdominal pain medicine “Buscopan.”

Añonuevo said the BOC has yet to determine whether other fake drug shipments had been stored in the same warehouse.

The shipment will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration and the Intellectual Property Office for further investigation and value estimation, the BOC said in a separate statement.

“The importation of medicine requires permits from other government agencies. More than being a smuggling issue, we need to protect the public from drugs that could potentially cause more harm than be cures for ailments,” Añonuevo said.

Last month, an estimated P2 million worth of anti-depressant Alprazolam was found by BOC personnel stuffed inside boxes sent through air cargo from Pakistan. The illegally imported drugs were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.