LEICESTER: Two businessmen who were caught with more than £5m worth of counterfeit drugs including Viagra and steroids have been jailed. Asif Patel, 42, of Thorn borough Way, Leicester, and Naushad Gaffar, 53, specialised in importing medicines for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation from the Indian subcontinent.
They were arrested in April 2015 following a nine-month investigation by the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Leicester and Mercury has reported. In one of the largest ever seizures of its kind, officials confiscated more than 1.6m doses of illicit medicines and 46,000 doses of class C drugs from storage units in south London. Prosecutor Peter Ratliff told Southwark Crown Court: “There were over 90 different medicinal products, applications ranging from premature ejaculation to depression.
“The significant majority of medicinal products in this case were for treating problems of a sexual nature, many are similar to Viagra. ‘The supply of unauthorised medicines is dangerous, they have not been subject to UK or EU safety regulations.
“Both defendants held leading roles, involved in directing, organising and selling on a commercial scale and appear to have had close links to the original source of the drugs.” Naushad Gaffar, 53, and Asif Patel, 42, specialised in medicines for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, shipped from the Indian subcontinent. It was the largest seizure of its kind, with more than 1.6m doses of unauthorised medicines and 46,000 class C drugs.
Gaffar and Patel were observed moving packages in and out of those addresses and transporting the product throughout London. Following their arrest, Patel continued delivering drugs. He was previously jailed in 2008 at Leicester Crown Court for five years for facilitating unlawful immigration. Following his release he moved down to London from Manchester to work as a pizza delivery driver.
He met Gaffar, who has no previous convictions and was working as a taxi driver before he began shifting medicines. Patel, admitted five counts of conspiracy to supply unauthorised medicines, controlled medicines and class C drugs and was jailed for three years. Gaffar, of Ellison Road, Streatham, admitted three counts of conspiracy to supply unauthorised medicines, controlled medicines and class C drugs and was jailed for 21 months.