Abortion pills would be the last thing to cross someones’ mind when they think of cash on delivery services. Hiding behind the guise of a salon, a group of suspects in Kuala Lumpur were found selling unregistered medication known as “Misoprostol” to the public without authorisation.
According to Harian Metro, police had uncovered that the suspects also have a cash on delivery policy for those who wish to carry out an immediate abortion. To make things worse, this shady two-timing business outlet has managed to carry out their illegal activities right under the noses of the police for quite a while now.
The suspects had cunningly used the innocent nature of a child’s school bag to their advantage. A bag with the face of a popular children’s cartoon was used to carry around and deliver the illegal pills. Due to its inconspicuous nature, the police were completely oblivious of the suspects’ modus operandi.
This illusive Misoprostol trade was uncovered when the police conducted a sting with a team of 20 pharmacists. According to Dr Param Jeeth Singh (The Health Director of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya), actions were taken against two sellers who had sold Misoprostol through social media.
A raid was also carried out in a famous shopping mall where the primary target was a bag store and a salon.
“Investigations found that the Misoprostol pills were sold discretely to foreigners,” said Dr Param Jeeth Singh. Further investigations exposed that the business owner’s house was used as a storing base for the Misoprostol pills. One pill was sold for the whopping price of RM175!
However, this shady business had bitten off more than they could chew at this point. The suspects were found to be selling more than just illegal Misoprostol. Investigations uncovered the skeletons in the closet when other unregistered products such as antibiotics, antifungal medications, painkillers and health-based foods were found. All in all, the total value of seized items added up to RM253,520!
Dr Param Jeeth further explained that Misoprostol was banned in 2016 because it was frequently used for abortion. Prior to being banned, Misoprostol was registered under the Health Ministry and it was used to treat stomach ulcers and gastric. The prescription of Misoprostol requires medical supervision from a registered medical practitioner.
Pregnant woman are not allowed to consume Misoprostol without supervision because it can cause abortion, affect the baby’s growth, trigger bacterial infections and even death.
The apprehended suspects may be subjected to fines up to RM25,000 or a prison sentence for 3 years or both if it’s their first time. However, repeat offenders may be subjected to fines up to RM50,000, a prison sentence up to 5 years or both.
The public should always check on the authenticity of their purchased medical, health or make-up products. The authenticity of products can be checked by using the product’s registration number. Public can access the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency’s (NPRA) official website or download the NPRA’s product stats app from Google Playstore.
Whereas, if there are any complaints, the public can reach out at 03-7841 3200 (Pharmaceutical Services Division Ministry of Health).
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