HUNDREDS of prescription drugs ordered over the internet were confiscated yesterday by pharmaceutical services after they searched suspicious looking packages at post offices around the island. The drugs included anabolic steroids, hormones, contraceptives, antibiotics, food supplements and abortion aids.
A total of 302 packages were checked with seven confiscated as they contained prescription drugs, the state broadcaster said.
“We located one package in Limassol that contained drugs used for abortion which are very dangerous and can even cause death,” pharmaceutical services official Anna Paphitou said.
Head of health services, Christos Christou also expressed his concern over the matter as food supplements fall under health services jurisdiction.
“Some of these supplements contain dangerous and prohibited substances and can put people’s health at risk,” he said.
The find was part of Operation Pangea which is an international week of action tackling the online sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and highlighting the dangers of buying medicines online. Coordinated by Interpol, the annual operation brings together customs, health regulators, national police and the private sector from countries around the world.
The most recent operation resulted in the seizure of almost 10 million drugs worth an estimated €31 million.
Operation Pangea VI also resulted in 58 arrests, somewhat fewer than the 79 arrests made during last year’s operation which seized 3.75 million drugs with a value of around €8 million.