$53,000 worth of illegal codeine cough syrup, sleeping pills and medicine seized from Geylang apartment: HSA

The Health Sciences Authority said that the street value of the items seized during the operation on May 8, 2019, was $53,000.
The Health Sciences Authority said that the street value of the items seized during the operation on May 8, 2019, was $53,000.PHOTOS: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - More than $50,000 worth of illegal codeine cough syrup, sleeping pills and other medicine were seized from a Geylang apartment, said the Health Sciences Authority in a statement on Wednesday (May 8).

HSA collaborated with police officers from Bedok Police Division on Wednesday morning to conduct an enforcement operation in Geylang, seizing more than 80 litres of illegally manufactured codeine cough syrup and 32,000 tablets of assorted medicine.

The seized tablets included sleeping pills such as midazolam, nitrazepam and diazepam, as well as other prescription medicine including codeine tablets.

The total street value of the seized items was approximately $53,000, said HSA.

HSA said that it had conducted surveillance after public feedback on the illegal sale of codeine cough syrup at a coffee shop in the Lorong 20 Geylang area.

The authority then established that the illegal products were stored in an apartment on that road.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the apartment was used to illegally manufacture and store the cough syrup and medicine, and the products had been intended for illegal sale in Geylang.

 
 

During the operation, two men and one woman, aged between 20 to 28, were caught inside the apartment.

The three suspects are currently assisting HSA with investigations for manufacturing and supplying illegal medicine.

Codeine cough syrups are used medically as a cough suppressant and can only be supplied by licensed pharmacists or medical practitioners.

HSA enforcement branch director Annie Tan said: "Cough syrup concoctions made in non-licensed facilities such as this Geylang apartment are dangerous and harmful to health because they are produced under poor manufacturing conditions with no proper quality controls.

"Consumers are advised to buy from licensed sources such as registered clinics and approved pharmacies," she added.

HSA said that it takes a serious stand against illegal activities that would harm public health.

Anyone convicted of importing, manufacturing or supplying of illegal health products, or a combination of the above, can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $50,000, or both.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any illegal activity involving illegal cough syrup and medicines to HSA's enforcement branch by contacting 68663485 during office hours or sending an e-mail to hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.