A total of five foreign nationals have attempted to enter South Africa with R6 million worth of unregistered Ivermectin tablets in January alone.
Since the start of the month, the suspects, all from India, have been arrested as part of a two-week joint operation involving police and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority‘s (SAHPRA) law enforcement unit.
Police said due to the unregistered nature of the medicine, it is believed the goods were imported for sales purposes, to be used in the treatment of Covid-19.
The latest arrests were made on Thursday, involving two females and one male. A total of 293,800 tablets worth R5 million was confiscated.
The suspects appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s court on Friday. Their case was postponed to 1 February for a formal bail hearing.
The first bust took place on 13 January, where a man found to be in possession of over 24,000 Ivermectin tablets worth R720,000. He is currently out on bail.
The second arrests took place on Tuesday, where two men were nabbed after carrying an array of unregistered medicine, among those 18,085 Ivermectin tablets worth R552,550.
The second man had Diclofenac sodium tablets, Chlorpheniramine maleate tablets, and Amoxycillin tablets worth R25,000.
Their case has also been postponed to 1 February.
All five suspects have been charged for possession of unregistered medicines without aurhotisation, and for importing medicine without a SAPHRA licence.
Compiled by Nica Richards