A 30-year-old man from Cheltenham has been given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of the unlawful importation and distribution of medicinal products.
Investigators from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seized more than 80,000 doses of steroids, unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines, and illegal slimming tablets, estimated to be worth more than £38,800. Importing the medicines from India and Turkey, the man was selling them illegally online through social media like Twitter and Facebook, investigators discovered. He had customers across the UK, as well as Europe and North America.
In addition to the suspended sentence, he was ordered to pay £10,000 towards the investigation costs and told by the judge he was only spared prison because of his early guilty plea.
Following the sentence, Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA head of enforcement, said: “Make no mistake, we are committed to identifying and prosecuting criminals who put peoples’ lives at risk by selling medicines illegally. Medicines purchased outside the regulated supply chain can be dangerous, and there is no assurance of quality and standards. There can be devastating consequences to your health.”