A record seizure of 200 tons of fake drugs was carried out this week by the Ivorian gendarmerie and four suspects, including a Chinese, were arrested, AFP told the gendarmerie on Saturday.
The products, fake or underdosed, were « stored in a house on two floors and a basement. There are 200 tons. Four suspects, three Ivorians and one Chinese were arrested, « said a spokesman for the gendarmerie.
« In the house, all the rooms contained medicine and sometimes there is just enough space to move around, » the source said, saying that many of the drugs had Chinese packaging.
The use of fake drugs causes nearly 100,000 deaths a year in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Some 42 per cent of drugs in circulation in sub-Saharan Africa are falsified, making it the region of the world most affected by organized crime-controlled trafficking.
Criminals take advantage of the fact that, unlike drug trafficking, the trade in fake medicines remains largely unpunished in the world, being considered a mere offense of intellectual property infringement, despite the deaths it causes.