Ivermectin worth R6 million seized at OR Tambo

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South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs & Excise apprehended foreign nationals attempting to enter the country with tablets assumed to be Ivermectin.

The South African Police Service (SAPS), and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority Law Enforcement Unit (SAHPRA) were alerted and partook in the detention and investigation process.

The Multi-Disciplinary team continues its efforts to put an end to the illegal importation of medicines at entry ports. 

The team continues to clamp down on the illegal importation of medicines at the port of entry.

In just two weeks, through collaboration, the team have arrested six suspects and confiscated unregistered medicine worth a market value of R6 million rand. 

The unregistered medicine, mainly in a tablet form are speculated to have been imported for sale purposes to be used in the treatment of the Covid-19 virus.

The six suspects, each entered the country from India and are of Indian descent. Two women and four men were arrested.

As per SAPS, all six have already appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court and face charges relating to the contravention of the Medicines and related Substances Act 101 of 1965.

The most recent arrests include the apprehension of three people, two females and one male, who were arrested on Thursday, 28 January 2021. 

  • The first female suspect was found to be in possession of 178 200 tablets while the second female suspect was found to be in possession of 66 400 tablets. 
  • The male suspect was found in possession of 49 200 tablets. All unregistered medicines are worth R5 million.

The three suspects appeared before the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Friday, 29 January 2021. 

The case was postponed to the 1st of February 2021 for a formal bail application.

In a case that was reported at ORTIA on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, a man was apprehended when he was found to have just over 24 000 invermectin tablets worth a market value of R720 000 in his possession. He is currently out on bail.

On Tuesday, 26 January 2021 two men were arrested when they were found to have a variation of unregistered medicines.

The medication found on the first suspect included 18 085 ivermectin tablets worth a market value of R552,550.

The second suspect was found with Diclofenac sodium tablets, Chlorpheniramine maleate tablets and Amoxycilin tablets worth a market value of R25 000.

The men were arrested and appeared before the Kempton Park Magistrates Court. Their case was postponed to the 1st of February 2021 for a formal bail application.

All suspects have been charged for being in possession of unregistered medicines without authorization and importing medicines without a license from the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

As per section 22(c) of the Medicines Act, anyone who wishes to import medicines into the country must have written authorisation from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). 

SAPS reminds the public that anyone found to be in contravention of this law will be apprehended and brought before a court of law.