S. African police seize illegally imported medicine at airport

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 04: Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) monitor compliance to lockdown level 3 regulations on June 04, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The operation was led by Captain Mafalo from Johannesburg Central SAPS. (Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS). (Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

The South African police on Friday said they have seized unregistered medicine believed to be Ivermectin worthy of R126 million (8.6 million U.S. dollars) at the OR Tambo International Airport early this week.

The police said they seized the illegal drugs which were in tablet form when inspecting a cargo container from India.

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) confirmed that the medicine was imported without the necessary written approval and authorization.

“While no arrests have been made as yet, the police through its Interpol office are working with authorities from India to establish the exact delivery address of the consignment in the country. The latest confiscation of unregistered medicines is the largest bust concerning the illegal importation of medicines since the beginning of the year,” said police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe.

Last month the police arrested seven suspects for illegal importation of unregistered medicine mostly found to be Ivermectin.

“In all cases, preliminary investigations revealed that the unregistered medicines had been imported for sale purposes,” said Mathe.

The police said importation of medicines have to be done with written authority from SAHPRA, those who do not follow that would be arrested.

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