Tuesday 12 December 2017

Record number of anabolic steroids among massive drug haul

Massive haul of illegally imported medicines seized in latest crackdown

Seized packets of illlegal medicines on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Seized packets of illlegal medicines on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Minister Simon Harris, TD, Minister for Health and Ms Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, HPRA at today's announcement
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A record 72,000 units of anabolic steroids were among a massive haul of illegally imported medicines seized in the latest crackdown

The potentially dangerous substances used to increase muscle mass and athletic performance were around 200,000 units of illegal prescription medicines valued at €850,000 which were confiscated by the Interpol-coordinated Operation Pangea X.

It is a three-fold increases in seizures compared to last year.

Some of the massive haul was put on display by the medicines’ watchdog, the Health Products Regulatory Authority today including sedatives, painkillers, slimming tablets and sedatives.

Seized packets of the benzodiazepine Diazepam on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Seized packets of the benzodiazepine Diazepam on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire

The HPRA , the Revenue Customs Service, and an Garda Siochana jointly led the operation in Ireland.

In some cases criminal gangs were behind the imports, particularly involving anabolic steroids.

Health Minister Simon Harris today called on gym-owners to do more to stamp out the dangerous practice.

HPRA chief executive Dr Lorraine Nolan said:”There is no guarantee as to what is contained in these products we have detailed or under what conditions they have been manufactured.

Tetra packs used to smuggle illegal medicines into Ireland on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Tetra packs used to smuggle illegal medicines into Ireland on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire

“We continue to urge members of the public not to use unverified and unregulated sources such as the internet to buy prescription only medicines or other illegal health products.”

She said anabolic steroids may have very high levels of active ingredient with potentially serious side effects.

Seized packets of the tranquilizer Xanax on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Seized packets of the tranquilizer Xanax on display at the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Headquarters in Dublin after a Europe-wide Interpol-coordinated project called Pangea X. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 25, 2017. See PA story HEALTH Drugs . Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire

However, there is under-reporting of these because of the secretive nature of the practice, she added.

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