Kiwi jailed in US for selling fake erectile pills

Last updated 16:36 15/10/2012

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A New Zealand citizen who supplied large amounts of fake erectile dysfunction drugs to distributors in California, Texas and Europe has been sentenced to 18 months prison in the United States.

KFI news reported Robin Han, 43, plead guilty to federal charges in July after a long investigation by the US immigration and Homeland Security.

"Counterfeit prescription drugs represent a serious threat to the integrity of the medical supply system that the public needs to rely on with confidence," said US Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.

United States authorities had pursued Han, who worked as a physician in China, since 2006, after Customs and Border Protection officers found a parcel from China containing counterfeit Cialis tablets and packaging at a mail facility in California, according to US media.

He was initially charged in December 2007, when living in China, but authorities did not arrest him until March this year when he arrived in San Francisco airport from Hong Kong.

Special customs agents purchased about 20,000 Viagra, Cialis and Levitra tablets with an estimated retail value of about NZ$245,000, US authorities said. 

Han sent the parcels using packaging slips that claimed they were plastic stationery holders and pen boxes.

"This sentence should serve as a stern warning to those selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals over the internet," said Special Agent Claude Arnold. 

"Imposter drugs like these pose a serious threat to buyers who mistakenly assume these substances are safe."

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