Three nabbed as police bust fake medicine manufacturer

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By Court Reporter

THREE Harare man employed by a Pharmaceutical firm were busted while manufacturing some counterfeit drugs worth half a million RTGS dollars in a back-yard warehouse in Prospect Heavy Industrial area.

The three, Clever Farayi (30), Tatenda Innocent Rutsate (23) and Graeme Munikwa aged (45), are employed by TICC Pharmaceuticals.

Prosecutors allege the conduct of the three put the public in danger as the medicine was destined for delivery to the country’s health ministry.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa charged with possession of dangerous drugs.

Mugwagwa remanded them out of custody to April 24 on $100 bail each.

It is the State’s case that police detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics received information to the effect that the three were supplying counterfeit drugs from an unregistered premise in Waterfalls.

“Acting on the tip-off, police and Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) proceeded to number 4470 Prospect Industrial Area where they requested to conduct routine inspections,” read court papers.

The court heard that the trio resisted, prompting the detectives to forcibly open the gate.

It is further alleged police requested for licences for the premises but were shown a wholesale dealer’s permit in respect of one building located near the main gate of the complex.

Court heard the police and MCAZ officers inspected the whole complex before discovering a locked backyard warehouse.

They ordered two of the suspects to open the warehouse where they discovered a consignment of registered, unregistered and dangerous drugs.

Munikwa was allegedly caught packing the medicines inside the warehouse.

It is alleged that the trio failed to produce a licence for the warehouse.

Some of the recovered medicine had consignment tags directed to the Health ministry, raising suspicion on how they ended up at TICC Pharmaceuticals.

The State also alleges that it seized 1 720 tablets which contain codeine phosphate and other opiates classified under the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Moses Mapanga appeared for the State.