Thursday 19 April 2018

Man is jailed for importing seal penis 'Viagra'

Conor Gallagher

THE owner of a chain of head shops has been sentenced to three years and fined €100,000 for illegally importing Viagra-type products made from seal penises.

James Bellamy (64) told gardai the drugs were herbal "Chinese Viagra", Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

His company Harmony Products, which is in liquidation, was fined €150,000 for not having a licence to sell the products.

Brenda Kirby, an enforcement officer with the Irish Medicines Board, told the court that an investigation into the Myth and Magic head shop in Athlone uncovered "Viagra-type" drugs which had been purchased from Harmony Products.

Officers went to Bellamy's Nirvana shop on Capel Street and found 17 large boxes containing individual packages of the drugs. Several days later Bellamy was interviewed and admitted importing them from China.

Tests showed some of the drugs contained anaesthetics while the rest contained synthetic treatments for erectile dysfunction. All of the drugs were prescription only. Some are known to cause to seizures, comas and death in some users.

Bellamy, of Castle Court, Killiney Hill Road, Killiney, and his company were charged under the Irish Medicines Board Act for not having a licence to sell the products.

Drugs

Documentation showed he imported 6,000 packages of the drugs, some of which were sold wholesale to other head shops.

Bellamy and Harmony Products pleaded guilty to importation of illegal medical products, selling the drugs wholesale without a licence and keeping Lidocaine for sale without a licence, all between March 18, 2008 and May 7, 2010.

He said he was unaware he was doing anything illegal and didn't examine the products. He said he didn't have any documents about the drugs but produced an email from his supplier which stated they were made from seal penises.

A year later a search on another of Bellamy's premises on St Clare's Avenue uncovered 848 sachets of erectile dysfunction drugs with labels such as Sextasy and Ivory Wave.

Bellamy has three previous convictions from the early 1990s relating to possession of pornographic videos which had not been reviewed by the censor.

The court heard that Bellamy is the director of several companies. Harmony Products has €1.33m in assets.

The Capel Street store was burned down in 2010 and over €400,000 was found in the basement by firefighters, the court heard. Defence counsel Peter Maguire BL said there was no suggestion this money was ill-gotten.

Judge Patricia Ryan suspended the final year of the three-year sentence and gave Bellamy and his firm a year to pay the fines.

Irish Independent

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