The Liberian Medicines &Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) is commending the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for the level of collaboration in recent time especially in helping combating the illicit flow of pharmaceutical products in the country.
The LRA in recent has been instrumental in confiscating thousands of dollars illegal pharmaceutical products smuggled in the country by some unscrupulous individuals.
It can be recalled that the Customs Department of the LRA turned over to the LMHRA huge consignment of pharmaceutical products illegally imported in Liberia from Guinea, by an individual identified as Abdulla Kamara.
The pharmaceutical products, according to LRA officials were intercepted by Customs Anti-Smuggling Officers along the Somalia Drive following a tip-off.
According to a Customs investigation report, the assorted pharmaceutical products were smuggled into the country through the Guinea, Ganta Border.
The report further stated that the assorted medicines were concealed in twelve (12) Jomo size boxes under other goods being legally imported in the country.
The assorted medicines or pharmaceutical products included: Pain killer, Multi-Vitamin, Cold Caps, and Amoxicillin among others and is valued at over Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$5,000.00).
Presenting the confiscated medicines to the LMHRA, LRA Manager of Anti-Smuggling& Investigation Unit (ASIU), Masu Fahnbulleh noted that the LRA will remain steadfast and engaged in ensuring effective border security and protection under its border management strategy.
He disclosed that the importer identified as Abdullai Kamara without permit imported and smuggled the assorted medicines into Liberia.
Receiving confiscated products on behalf of the LMHRA, the Deputy Inspector-General of the LMHRA, Dr. Thomas Kokulo, thanked the LRA for the seizure and described the collaboration between the two government agencies as vital in curbing the illegal importation of medicines and other harmful products into the country.
The seizure is part of an LRA on-going regional customs enforcement operation under the auspices of the World Customs Organization (WCO) code name: “Cripharm V” targeted at combating the illicit flow of pharmaceutical products.
Also speaking upon receiving the illegal pharmaceuticals at the head offices of the LMHRA, the Inspector General of the LMHRA, Pharmacist Teedoh Beyslow, frowned on illegal importation of pharmaceuticals, and health products and medical devices in the country without the expressed approval of the LMHRA; especially through land borders and under harsh conditions.
He vowed to ensure those caught in smuggling medicines, and health products and medical devices in Liberia, to be drastically dealt with in accordance with the law and regulations governing the entity.
Pharmacist Beyslow also disclosed plans in the coming days, to turn the culprit to the Independent Hearing Board of the LMHRA for investigation and as after which findings, they authority will seek Court order to have the confiscated medicines (pharmaceuticals)burned (incinerated).
He also thanked the Liberia Revenue Authority for the continual cooperation and mutual respect existing between the two entities and further urged the LRA to remain more vigilant in ensuring that those involved in the smuggling of medicines, and health products and medical devices are brought to book and punished in accordance with the laws of the country. In April of 2020, the LRA Customs Department again turned over to the LMHRA, huge consignment of pharmaceuticals illegally imported through the Liberian-Sierra Leonean border post at Bo Waterside in Grand Cape Mount County.