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soft sentence Warehouse operative spared sentence for unlawfully importing 10,000 viagra-like pills

Tomas Toleikis, 29, with an address at Barnwell Crescent, Hansfield, Dublin 15, claimed he thought the sex pills were herbal products

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Tomas Toleikis pictured leaving the Four Courts

Tomas Toleikis pictured leaving the Four Courts

Tomas Toleikis pictured leaving the Four Courts

A warehouse operative who admitted illegal importation of 10,000 viagra-like tablets has been spared a sentence and a criminal conviction.

Tomas Toleikis, 29, with an address at Barnwell Crescent, Hansfield, Dublin 15, claimed he thought the sex pills were herbal products.

His case concluded on Friday at Dublin District Court, following an 18-month adjournment.

Earlier, the court heard he planned to set up a website to sell the pills which could have been worth up to €50,000.

He pleaded guilty last year to charges under the Irish Medicines Board Act.

It followed an investigation by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) which is responsible for regulating medicinal and health products in Ireland.

Prosecuting solicitor Ronan O’Neill told Judge Anthony Halpin the 10 charges related to four products containing the prescription only ingredient Sildenafil, a viagra product.

The brands were not authorised for sale in Ireland and had not been subject to clinical trials.

The charges were unlawful importation, keeping for supply and unlawfully placing of the products on the Irish market.

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Tomas Toleikis

Tomas Toleikis

Tomas Toleikis

 

Toleikis admitted having them shipped to Ireland, “in large quantity”, the court heard.

HPRA enforcement officer Alan Smullen told Judge Halpin that on Sept. 7, 2017 and the following day customs officers detained four packages from India.

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Each contained 1,000 tablets and were addressed to Toleikis whose home was searched.

A further 4,000 tablets were found at his premises and another batch arrived on a later date that month

Toleikis was not present when the search was carried out but he later attended a meeting with the HPRA.

He made full admissions and was co-operative, the enforcement officer said.

Mr Smullen said the accused told the HPRA it was his intention to set up a website to sell these products and he brought them into the country to make money.

The HPRA witness had said the street value of the tablets ranged between €1 to €5 each.

He also said the accused was not a registered medicinal practitioner or a pharmacist.

Toleikis had no prior convictions had not come to attention since.

Pleading for leniency, counsel said the accused paid four cent per tablet.

He had thought they were herbal products and did not realise the erectile dysfunction tablets were illegal for him to sell, the barrister said.

The warehouse operative, who came from Lithuania,  had lived in Ireland over the last five years, and never came to notice before or since.

The offences, at district court level, can result in fines between €2,500 and €4,000 per charge, as well as a sentence of up to 12 months.

Judge Halpin had noted the prosecution faced €3,500 in expenses, the cost of analysing and destruction of the products.

He had said he was prepared to apply the Probation of Offenders Act, sparing Toleikis a  sentence and a recorded conviction, if he paid the costs. He proceeded to make that order on Friday after noting Toleikis had complied.

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