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€430,000 of dodgy prescription drugs seized in crackdown

Leo Varadkar at the announcement of the seizure
Leo Varadkar at the announcement of the seizure

An international investigation into the consumption of illegal drugs sold online results in €430,000 drug seizure.

€430,000 worth of Illegal, counterfeit drugs have been seized in Ireland as part of an International crackdown on the trade.

Over 104,000 sedatives, and nearly 10,000 illegal erectile dysfunction pills were discovered as part of Interpol's 'Operation Pangea', an Garda Siochana announced through the Revenue Customs Services and Health Products Regulatory Authority program.

Among the other drugs uncovered were anabolic steroids, painkillers, teeth whiteners, anti depressants, and medication to reduce cholesterol. 

Mail order of prescription medication is illegal in Ireland, while the selling of prescription drugs to Irish customers from external foreign countries is also strictly illegal.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar spoke as the seized drugs were displayed at HPRA headquarters in Dublin City Centre yesterday, and exclaimed his worries for Irish consumers using unreliable drugs.

"50 percent of the medicine sold by unregulated online retailers are estimated to be unreliable and potentially harmful", he stated.

"I hope that when the public see the photographs of these seized products, they will pause and think about what they are buying online and who they are buying from.

"Often the medicine doesn't contain the active ingredient or has the wrong dose. Sometimes the substances used to bulk up the medicines are harmful", he added.

The investigation involving 230 law enforcement agencies across 115 different counties targeted websites selling the drugs.

Eight online portals were found to be selling the tablets, capsules and liquids to consumers here. 

Five websites based in this jurisdiction were closed as part of the operation.

Some 496 mail order packages were seized by customs officials from postal services. 

The most prominent countries to feature in the investigation were the UK, India, Singapore and the United States of America.