Mr Grant Polson, aged 30 of Cheltenham, was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court today following a guilty plea on seven counts of the unlawful importation and distribution of medicinal products.
MHRA investigators seized more than 80,000 doses of steroids, and unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines as well as illegal slimming tablets. They are estimated to be worth more than £38,800.
Importing the medicines from India and Turkey, Polson was selling them illegally online through social media like Twitter and Facebook, investigators discovered. He had customers across the UK, as well as Europe and North America.
Polson received an 8-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. In sentencing the judge noted he was only spared prison because of his early guilty plea. Polson was also ordered to pay £10,000 towards investigation costs.
Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA Head of Enforcement said:
Make no mistake, we are committed to identifying and prosecuting criminals who put peoples’ lives at risk by selling medicines illegally.
Medicines purchased outside the regulated supply chain can be dangerous, and there is no assurance of quality and standards. There can be devastating consequences to your health.
Criminals have no interest in your health and wellbeing; they are only concerned about making money at your expense.
We are cracking down on perpetrators to make sure this type of crime does not pay.
MHRA is currently running the #FakeMeds campaign to warn people against buying potentially dangerous or useless unlicensed medicines sold by illegal online suppliers.
Visit www.gov.uk/fakemeds for tips on buying medicines safely online and how to avoid unscrupulous sites.
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