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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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January 26, 2011: International Distributor of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals Arrested

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Food and Drug Administration 
Office of Criminal Investigations




                                  Press Release



For Immediate Release
January 26, 2011


New Zealand Police

Contact: Stu Allsopp-Smith

Detective Inspector 

09 2590768 


Detectives from Auckland Metro Crime and Operations Support have arrested a Chinese New Zealand resident as part of a three-year long inquiry into the international distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

The 32- year-old man was arrested by AMCOS detectives in Wellington yesterday on a provisional arrest warrant. He appeared in the Wellington District Court and was remanded on bail to next month pending a further hearing to consider a request for his extradition to the United States.

Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith, AMCOS field crime manager, said the investigation has been carried out in conjunction with staff from various United States agencies including the US ICE Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations.

"Counterfeit pharmaceuticals include those used as sexual stimulants, heart medications, pain killers and other medications which Police believe have been sourced from China and distributed internationally via the internet," Detective Inspector Allsopp-Smith said.

"The investigation has uncovered a strong link between the New Zealand resident and the international supply of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. The arrest also highlights the strength of International cooperation and how this can be used to combat Transnational Crime."

Detective Inspector Allsopp-Smith said the supply of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is always a concern because there is no guarantee of quality controls. Product testing has previously shown that many counterfeit pharmaceuticals have no medical benefits and may pose a risk to those who take them.

"This inquiry highlights the need to ensure that medications are obtained from legitimate and proper pharmaceutical sources and in consultation with medical professionals."


Contact details: Detective Inspector Stu Allsopp-Smith Ph 09 2590768