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Published on 9 October 2007

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Drug counterfeiting gang members jailed

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Three members of a British gang who were involved in a conspiracy to sell counterfeit drugs including Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) have been sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison.

Salesman Gary Haywood, 59, from Leicester, student Ashwin Patel, 25, of north London, and businessman Zahid Mirza, 46, of Ilford, Essex, were part of the group that also smuggled counterfeit male baldness treatments.

The gang bought the substances from sources in China for as little as 25p per tablet before selling them to unsuspecting customers for up to £20 per tablet.

At Kingston Crown Court in August, all three men were found guilty of conspiracy to sell fake medicines.

Haywood was jailed for six years after being convicted of 11 counts of conspiring to sell fake medicines, money laundering and selling medicines without a wholesalers’ licence.

Mirza – who was not present in the dock, having absconded from bail on August 30 – was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail in his absence for his conviction of five counts of selling fake medicine and one count of selling medicines without a wholesalers’ license.

Patel was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty of six counts of conspiracy to supply fake medicines and one count of selling medicines without a wholesalers’ licence.

Ashish Halai, 33, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, who is believed to have orchestrated the scam, was jailed for four-and-a-half years back in September.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Crown Prosecution Service



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