Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UK: Online Dealer of Fake Medicines is Jailed

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported that a 49-year-old unlicensed and counterfeit medicines dealer has been sentenced to two years imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court. Mr. Martin Simon Hickman pleaded guilty to six counts of selling and supplying fake and unlicensed medicines, and money laundering to the sum of £1.4m.

Mr. Hickman operated an illegal online pharmacy and sold over £6m worth of fake Viagra and unlicensed Kamagra and Lovegra (Indian erectile dysfunction drugs) in the United Kingdom and abroad between 2003 to 2007.

His illegal gains funded a lavish lifestyle - a £2.5million riverside apartment in Chelsea, West London, property in the Spanish millionaires’ resort of Marbella and a four-bedroom farmhouse.

MHRA Head of Enforcement, Mick Deats, said the man enjoyed a lavish lifestyle on the profits made by selling the unlicensed and fake drugs. "People dealing in these types of businesses are criminals, but at the much higher end of the pay scale," he said. "Mr Hickman has substantially benefitted financially from this unlawful trade."

"He is not a healthcare professional, in fact, he is not professional in any way shape or form. He is simply a money motivated criminal living a life of luxury at the expense of other people's health."

MHRA investigation began in 2005 and ran till his site was successfully closed in 2007. Because the website was hosted in Germany the MHRA had to take out an injunction to shut the website down. But Hickman still continued to trade and in 2007 was jailed for three months for ignoring the injunction.

Hickman also had prior dealings in illegal pharmaceuticals and in 1998 he was jailed for 10 months for conspiracy to trade in steroids.

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Sam said...
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