x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fake Viagra pills and saffron prompt police warning

Police say man caught with thousands of pills of counterfeit medicine.

DUBAI // Dubai police yesterday warned of the trade in counterfeit medicines and food products after arresting two traders marketing fake sexual-enhancement pills and saffron.

An Arab suspect was arrested last month on charges of possessing and trading in the fake pills, said Brig Salem Khalifa al Rumaithi, of the Dubai Police CID.

"We were informed in May that the man was selling under-the-table Viagra and Cialis sexual-performance enhancement pills to men," he said. "After we investigated, we discovered the man was selling counterfeit pills and we arrested him in a sting operation."

An undercover CID officer bought Viagra from the suspect, police said, and the seller was arrested.

"We set the sting in Deira and arrested him during the delivery. We found a large amount of pills inside his car, and when we went to check his house a larger amount of pills were discovered," Brig al Rumaithi said.

"Seventy thousand counterfeit pills were collected from the defendant, carrying famous logos like Viagra," he said.

The defendant confessed that he smuggled the pills into the country and was selling them as through they were real.

In a separate counterfeit goods case, police arrested a woman trading in counterfeit saffron, police said.

The Asian woman was arrested after Dubai Police received information that she was selling it for less than 1/1000th of its usual price, Brig al Rumaithi said.

"Sources claimed that a woman was selling saffron cheaper than the market price," he said. "An investigation led us to her place in Dubai where she was selling saffron for Dh80 per kg.

"Saffron is worth Dhs10,000 per kg in the market and her trade negatively affected the market and traders."

Dubai Police found 775kg of counterfeit saffron in her home.

The director of the Dubai Police Criminal Investigation Administration, Brig Khalil al Mansoori, urged the public to help police track down fake materials and warned of their use,

"Such products will affect your health because they are counterfeit materials and might kill you," he said. "People who trade with such materials will face justice and be arrested sooner or later, because this is a matter of public health and safety and we won't be easy with them."

amustafa@thenational.ae