Illegal medicines and products seized in Interpol-led operation
Internet-based operation earlier this month targeted local websites
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) targeted local websites to seize illegal health products here as part of the 11th edition of Operation Pangea, an Internet-based operation led by Interpol.
Between Oct 9 and 16, 4,520 units of illegal health products with an estimated total street value of $9,000 were seized.
They included weight loss products and illegal medicines.
Two people are assisting HSA in investigations.
In a media release yesterday, HSA said weight loss products made up most of the seized products from all the Operation Pangea exercises.
In the operation this year, more than 90 per cent of the illegal sales postings detected were weight loss products. The products were alleged to be "100% natural" or made from "herbal ingredients".
HSA said: "However, consumers need to be wary that such products may not be as harmless as they claim to be."
In tests, the agency found the products to contain substances including Sibutramine 1, which is banned in Singapore.
Before 2010, Sibutramine was available as a prescription-only weight loss drug, but it has since been withdrawn from Singapore.
The agency added that this was due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as other serious adverse effects such as hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness.
During the operation, HSA also seized a total of 500 Modafinil 3 tablets which were sent to Singapore from overseas sellers. Modafinil is a prescription medicine which is not registered locally.
Investigations are ongoing.
In an advisory, the agency advised consumers to buy from websites with an established retail presence in Singapore.