Mato Grosso is the gateway


Source: A Gazeta - MT - 27/08/2009

The entry of counterfeit drugs in Mato Grosso across the border with Bolivia should lead the Federal Police to strengthen security in the region. Investigations indicate that criminals manufacture the products in Colombia and use Mato Grosso as a route to distribute the drug to large centers.

The PF already has evidence of the participation of drug traffickers in the smuggling of medicines, since in two operations the two products were found. In common, both have small volume and high added value, explains Chief José Mauro Nunes, from the Federal Police Superintendence in Brasília.

According to the delegate, the medicine manufactured in Colombia goes by plane to Bolivia. Then, the product enters Brazil transported by truck to Cuiabá, from where it is distributed to cities in the region and major capitals.

Although Mato Grosso is not the target of distribution, during Operation Drágea, held in May this year, the Federal Police seized counterfeit drugs for erectile dysfunction in the Capital, such as Cialis, from Lilly laboratory, and Viagra, from Pfizer.

In the same month, in Rondonópolis (212 km south of the capital), federal police caught the sale of counterfeit stimulants in restaurants and roadside cafeterias. Consumers are truck drivers, who use the medicine to prevent sleep on the way.

Images of the manufacture of medicines in Colombia were recorded by the International Police (Interpol). According to the PF, the form of preparation is rudimentary and the laboratories have poor hygiene conditions. As a raw material, criminals mainly use flour and baking soda. They produce pills and ampoules, in packages of famous brands and important medicines, used to treat cancer, high blood pressure and sexual stimulants.

Other routes are also being investigated by the Federal Police. Among them, the borders of the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul with Paraguay. According to the delegate, the Itaipu lake continues to lead as a gateway for counterfeit medicines in Brazil. In capitals such as São Paulo and the Federal District, the Police have already noted the sale of irregular remedies in large popular fairs, such as Brás (SP) and Feira dos Importados (DF).

Counterfeiting of medicines puts the health of the population at risk. According to the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), in the first three months of 3 alone, 2009 tons of counterfeit, smuggled or forbidden drugs were seized in Brazil.

To try to avoid counterfeiting, the consumer must always demand an invoice. You should also check that the box is sealed and the quality seal that appears only after the security mark is scraped.

Operation Drágea - Deflagrated by the PF together with Anvisa, in May, the operation resulted in the seizure of 60 tons of medicines and cosmetics. Among the material were unregistered drugs, smuggled or stored in inadequate conditions. Eight people were caught in the act and 11 indicted for crimes of unregistered drug sales, drug trafficking, and smuggling and embezzlement.

Criminal organization – Operation Drágea also discovered in Mato Grosso a criminal organization of clandestine production of herbal medicines distributed throughout the country. At the time, the Federal Police found the manufacture of packaging, bottling and distribution of the herbal "Zeca Drops", marketed throughout the country. The drug packaging factory was closed by Anvisa and more than 200 bottles were seized, as well as the equipment.