June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

P3.5M fake meds seized in Ozamiz raid

By Justine Rich Talusan

AUTHORITIES seized some P3.5 million worth of counterfeit medicines in a raid in Ozamiz City.

Nabbed during the operation was the alleged distributor of the fake medicines identified as Leonardo Duma Jr., 56, of Purok 6, Cabatuan, Bgy. Calabayan, Ozamiz City.

According to Police Regional Office 10 director Brig. Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., Duma was arrested based on three search warrants issued by Judge Arthur Abundiente of the Regional Trial Court, 10th Judicial Region Cagayan de Oro City.

Acorda said the raid was conducted by operatives of the Regional Special Operations Unit 10 and personnel from the Food and Drugs Administration.

Confiscated during the operation were two big boxes containing 31,700 capsules of loperamide hydrochloride, a box containing 27,000 tablets of losartan potassium, 31,500 capsules of amoxicillin trihydrate, 13,100 capsules of mefenamic acid, 12,200 tablets of dicycloverine hydrochloride, and 13,400 tablets of carbocisteine.

Police said aside from operating a mini-drugstore inside his house, the suspect is also selling the counterfeit medicines to other customers in other parts of Northern Mindanao.

A tip from a pharmaceutical company, which complained that some of its brand names were being sold by the suspect, helped law enforcement agencies pinpoint the location of the suspect.

Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government  issued a directive banning “sari-sari stores” engaged in retailing illegally-manufactured drugs.

The directive stemmed from President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to go after non-authorized stores that sell medicines following an FDA report that about 78 “sari-sari” stores were found to be illegally-selling medicines, including anti-COVID-19 drugs.

Duma was charged with violation of Republic Act. 9711 in relation to Republic Act. 8203 or the Special Law for Counterfeit Drugs.