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Couple due in court after £500k Viagra stash and Class C drugs haul seized following Gateshead raids
09 May | 09:06

A 58-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman are due to appear before magistrates in July

A couple accused of supplying and importing Viagra and other Class C drugs worth £500,000 are due to appear in court.

The pair were arrested last summer after officers seized 63 boxes filled with 226,882 Viagra and 24,920 class C pills, more than £10,000 in cash and two vehicles worth £22,000.  

Officers from the disruption team at the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU) discovered the items after they searched two properties in Gateshead following collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

More than £201,000 worth of assets and money associated with the pair was also frozen after an application was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The couple, a 58-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of buying and selling Class C drugs and they have now been summonsed to court.

They are due to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside in July charged with a total of nine offences, including importation and conspiracy to supply Class C drugs and money laundering.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Pescod, of NERSOU, said: “Criminals who make money from selling drugs and illicit substances should be warned that the law will catch up with them.

“Viagra can only be sold in a registered pharmacy – purchasing this item from anywhere else could ultimately endanger lives. Anybody found to be selling this item illicitly can expect to be dealt with swiftly and robustly.

“We will continue to tackle all forms of drug supply under the banner of Operation Sentinel – our joined up approach to tackling serious and organised crime.

“We will also continue to work alongside our partners at the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and continue to share information which will keep our communities safe.”

Lynda Scammell, spokesperson from MHRA Enforcement Group, added: “Criminals can make substantial profits from the illegal supply of medicines with a total disregard for the health and safety of those who buy them.

“We will continue to work with NERSOU and collaborate with law enforcement partners and healthcare agencies to tackle the illegal supply of medicine. Protecting the health and safety of the public is our number one priority.

“We urge people to visit their doctor if they have a health concern. Self-diagnosis and buying medicines can be risky. Buy your medicines from a reputable source – for example, a registered pharmacy. Don’t gamble with your health.

“If you choose to buy medicines online, visit the #FakeMeds website for tools and resources to help you purchase medication or medical devices safely.”

Anyone with information about the illegal sale or supply of drugs can report this on the Northumbria Police website or via independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously.

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