MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-The Mzuzu magistrate court this week fined a Malawian citizen of Ugandan origin, MK500, 000, for attempting to smuggle into Malawi without requisite papers, medicine worth MK67.5 million.
Northern Region Police Spokesperson Peter Kalaya identified the smuggler as Amos Asiimwe, who was intercepted on February 25, 2017 by a joint operation of the Malawi Police Service (MPS), and Pharmacy, Medicines and Poison Board (PMPB) at Songwe Border in Karonga district.
According to Kalaya, the court was informed that Asiimwe intended to open a pharmacy with the smuggled medicine. The consignment did not have registration or licence numbers of the importer and were therefore, were deemed counterfeit contents by the authorities.
The medicines including 400 cartons of cough syrup and 1,377 cartons of antacid medicines; they were not certified by the PMPB Act. The counterfeit medicines were intercepted in a 10-ton truck that belongs to belong to a Tanzanian transporter.
The medicine smuggler has been conducting this illegal business for almost a year; the counterfeit medicines have been on the market and may that posed a risk to people’s health in the district.
The court charged Asiimwe with importation of medical drugs without license; this is contrary to Section 35 (1), and Section 35 (5) of the Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Act.
The court further ordered that the medicines should be forfeited to the government through the PMPB. The consignment has since been burnt in Mzuzu jointly by the PMPB and the MPS.
In 2012, PMPB ordered all manufacturers, wholesalers, retail drug stores, veterinary stores, and local agents to retain license or registration numbers of the importers of medicinal products or else risk losing their own operating licensed.