Sunday 26 January 2020

Man claims that 10,000 Viagra-like tablets were herbal pills

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Stock photo

Tom Tuite

A warehouse worker has been given a chance to avoid a criminal conviction for illegally importing 10,000 Viagra-like tablets.

Tomas Toleikis (29), of Barnwell Crescent, Hansfield, Dublin 15, claimed he thought they were herbal tablets.

He planned to set up a website to sell the pills, which could have been worth up to €50,000.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to charges under the Irish Medicines Board Act.

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It followed an investigation by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), which is responsible for regulating medicinal products in Ireland.

Prosecution solicitor Ronan O'Neill told Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court the 10 charges related to four products containing the prescription-only ingredient Sildenafil, a Viagra-type product. The brands were not authorised for sale in Ireland and had not been subject to clinical trials.

The charges related to unlawful importation, keeping for supply and placing of the products on the Irish market.

Lithuanian national Toleikis admitted having them shipped to Ireland "in large quantity", the court was told.

"These were not for personal use, I take it?" the judge inquired, adding: "Sorry, I had to ask."

HPRA enforcement officer Alan Smullen told the court that on September 7, 2017, and the following day customs officers detained four packages from India.

Each contained 1,000 tablets and were addressed to Toleikis, whose home was searched. A further 4,000 tablets were found at his premises and another batch arrived on a later date that month.

The offences, at district court level, can result in fines of up to €4,000 per charge, and a sentence of up to 12 months.

Judge Halpin noted the prosecution faced €3,500 in expenses, the cost of analysing and destruction of the products.

He adjourned the case, saying he was prepared to apply the Probation Act if Toleikis paid the costs.

Irish Independent

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