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Illegal online pharmacist held in Tampere

Officials estimate that nearly 1,000 men may have purchased anti-impotence medication imported from China. The medicine could pose serious health risks for users suffering from heart disease.

Etiketittömiä lääkepurkkeja tullin hallussa.
Keski-ikäisen pirkanmaalaismiehen hallusta löytyi kaikkiaan 55 000 tablettia, joista puolet oli ravintolisiä ja puolet erektiolääkkeiksi luokiteltavia aineita. Image: Tulli

Finnish customs officials suspect a middle-aged Tampere man of engaging in the illegal online sale of erectile dysfunction medication. Customs confiscated tens of thousands of pills found in the man’s possession. They suspect that as many as 1,000 men may have already purchased the drug.

Customers began tracking the illegal online pharmacy in January, when a postal tracking unit stumbled upon several “blanks” -- unlabeled packages with dubious contents. The blanks were said to be deliveries of tablets.

A raid on the delivery address turned up an astonishing sight – a cache of 55,000 pills, half of which were dietary supplements and the other half erectile dysfunction medication. Officials also confiscated some 200,000 euros in cash.

Five different mailing addresses

Before his apprehension by customs officials, the man had conducted his illegal web shop from five different addresses for about six months.

According to initial calculations, sales of illegal drugs in Finland reached up to one million euros last year.

Customs speculate that the man may have earned hundreds of thousands of euros from his illegal online business.

Customs anti-crime chief Hannu Sinkkonen told Yle that the operation has been particularly far-reaching.

“The man has been running the operation in spite of a business prohibition order. He had no kind of bookkeeping. We also suspect that he has not paid any employer contributions or taxes,” Sinkkonen explained.

“Responsibility for the safety of the medicines sold is another even more serious matter,” he added.

Anti-impotence drugs from China

The suspect sourced the pills for his illicit online trade from around the world; however they were all
manufactured in China.

“The anti-impotence pills sold to men contain the same active ingredients as the normal anti-impotence medication such as Viagra and Cialis that you can get from the pharmacy,” Sinkkonen said.

“However the percentages of the active medication in the pills are inconsistent, and are therefore potentially dangerous, for example for men suffering from heart disease,” he noted.

Customs are investigating the case as smuggling, drug offense and aggravated fraud offenses.

Sources: Yle

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