Pharmaceutical manager illegally sold 20,000 litres of cough syrup and 20,000 pills
Pharmaceutical sales manager pleads guilty to selling 20,000 litres of cough syrup and 20,000 pills
In a year, she sold 20,000 litres of cough syrup, enough to fill a petrol tanker, after she turned to crime just to hit her sales target.
The pharmaceutical sales manager also sold 20,000 pills.
She did this as she wanted "a good portfolio", hoping to get a better job in the future, said the prosecution.
Ashley Jas Ang Wei Hoon, 38, who worked for Beacons Pharmaceuticals, broke the law by selling an estimated 20,307.2 litres of codeine-based cough syrup between May 25, 2009, and May 26, 2010.
The court heard that it is the highest amount of cough syrup involved in such an offence in Singapore.
Ang pleaded guilty in court yesterday to 60 charges - 30 counts each of forgery and supplying medicinal products that are not on the General Sales List. (See report above.)
She kept her head bowed in the dock yesterday afternoon when she faced District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt.
Three hundred and thirty-five other charges for similar offences will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
In just a year, Ang delivered 5,344 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup, each containing 3.8litres of the medicine.
She also illegally sold 20 bottles of drugs, each containing 1,000 pills, including Diapo tablets, which contain stupefying drug diazepam, and Panaco tablets, a codeine-containing medication for temporary fever relief.
It had started innocently enough in September 2008 when Ang got to know clinic assistant Soh Woon Mei, who worked at Kim Tian Clinic in Tiong Bahru.
In May 2009, Ms Soh called Ang, asking if she could help her order and deliver bottles of codeine-based Promedyl-B Linctus cough syrup to her Malaysian nephew, Wong Kin Yu.
Ang declined at first but accepted the offer later when she realised that she could not meet her team's sales target.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stacey Anne Fernandez said that Ang wanted to hit her sales target and create "a good portfolio for herself in the hope of getting a job in another multi-national company in future".
Ang told her administrative staff to create invoices under Beacons Pharmaceuticals for an order purportedly made by Kim Tian Clinic.
She later used the invoices to personally collect the products.
On May 25, Ang drove to a carpark at Clementi Central to meet Ms Soh and was introduced to Wong.
She handed over the drugs to him and he used a rubber stamp which said "Kim Tian Clinic" to mark the invoices before signing them and paying her $1,033.92 in cash.
DPP Fernandez said: "The accused knew that Wong had indicated false details in the invoices with the intent to commit fraud."
From then on, Ang continued supplying drugs illegally to Wong.
He also used rubber stamps bearing the names of 72 clinics islandwide.
DPP Fernandez told Judge Chay: "The accused claimed to have received a total of $10,000 from the deliveries made. She claims to have used all the monies on personal expenses and fees for a psychology diploma course."
Ang was arrested in 2011, after the offences were discovered when the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) conducted regulatory checks.
HSA Prosecutor Amal Nasibah Salim said Ms Soh has died while Wong is on the run and has a warrant of arrest issued against him.
Ang will be back in court next Friday.
For each count of illegally supplying medicinal products, she can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.
For each count of forgery for the purpose of cheating, she can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
HSA: Codeine cough syrup prescription-only medicine
Drugs such as codeine tablets and L.T.R cough linctus - a kind of cough syrup that Ashley Jas Ang Wei Hoon dealt with - are prescription-only medication or POMs, as listed on the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) website.
The other two are pharmacy only (P) or General Sales List (GSL).
The HSA said: "POMs can be supplied only by a doctor or by a pharmacist according to a prescription by a doctor.
"P medicines can be supplied by or under the supervision of a pharmacist without a doctor's prescription while GSL medicines can be purchased off the shelves."