Northern Ireland

£100k of illegal medicines destined for NI seized

Tens of thousands of illegally imported medicines destined for addresses in Northern Ireland have been seized, the Department of Health has revealed.

More than 65,000 benzodiazepine tablets, steroids and other medicines, worth up to £100,000 on the black market, were recovered.

The seizure came as part of a week-long operation involving 111 countries.

Operation Pangea VII aimed to disrupt organised crime networks behind the illicit sale of medicines.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said the risk of illegal or counterfeit medicines could not be understated.

"It is an issue I take very seriously and that is why my department is committed to taking all possible steps to stop the supply of illegal medicines over the internet.

"The stark reality is that buying illegal medicines online could cost you your life.

"This problem is not something which the department can tackle alone.

"Operation Pangea VII has involved the coordinated efforts of the police, the UK Border Force and officers from my department, who will continue to be vigilant throughout the year in their determination to stop the spread of this serious problem."