SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) seized close to 13,000 units of products as part of a global operation against the illegal online sale of unregistered, counterfeit and adulterated health products.
The products, which include tablets, capsules and strips, amounted to about S$18,000.
Ten people are being investigated for the illegal sale of the products, such as oral contraceptives, weight—loss products and medical devices such as contact lenses, condoms and pregnancy test strips.
This is the fifth year that HSA took part in the operation, known as Operation Pangea.
It is the largest global internet—based action of its kind, involving 99 countries and 190 participating agencies.
During the operation, held between 25 September and 2 October, HSA stepped up checks on suspicious local websites that offer medicines and health products.
It screened 38 websites and found 15 of them selling illegal health products.
HSA will take action against them.
Recently, a 22—year—old woman was charged in court after HSA seized about 3,000 units of oral contraceptives, condoms and pregnancy test kits with a street value of S$5,685 from her.
She was fined S$19,000, the most severe penalty meted out to an individual for the sale of illegal health products online.
This was the first case which involved the illegal sale of both medicinal products and medical devices online.
HSA said with the growing popularity of online shopping, a coordinated effort among international regulatory and enforcement agencies is needed to combat illegal online activities and safeguard public health.
It said it will continue to work with INTERPOL and other partner agencies to clamp down on such activities.
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