x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

One million impotency pills seized

Dubai Customs seize a million anti-impotence pills containing an ingredient active in Viagra headed for the UAE market.

DUBAI // Dubai Customs seized a million anti-impotence pills that were headed for the UAE market last week.

The haul was made after officials were tipped off about a shipment from an unspecified Asian country that was being stored in the flowers area of the Airport Free Zone.

According to Omar al Muhairi, the senior manager of air cargo operations at Dubai Customs, the tablets contained sildenafil - the active ingredient of Viagra.

Although legal in the UAE, Viagra is only available by prescription, and its importation is strictly controlled.

Mr al Muhairi said the drugs had been inspected by the Ministry of Health, which had declared them to be "prohibited and unregistered".

Import was only allowed, he said, with Ministry of Health permission.

"The amount seized is considered to be for trade purposes and the importing company is not licensed to import it," he said.

The Legal Affairs Department at Dubai Customs ordered the haul to be sent back to the country of origin.

amustafa@thenational.ae