HSA And Police Raid Condominium Unit Suspected to Be Used for Manufacture of Cough Syrup; $130,000 Worth of Cough Syrup and Medicines Seized

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA), in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force, mounted a two-day operation which ended on 14 May 2024 to disrupt the illegal manufacture and supply of codeine cough syrup and other medicines. Approximately 165 litres of cough syrup and more than 57,000 units of assorted medicines such as cough suppressants, armodafinil and sedatives, with a street value of about $130,000, were seized from a condominium unit in Geylang. The unit was suspected to be used for the illegal manufacture and storage of cough syrup and medicines. This seizure is one of the largest in the past five years. A male suspect is assisting with investigations.

2        Through intelligence-led operations, HSA and SPF officers laid an ambush in the vicinity of the condominium unit. The suspect was detained when leaving the apartment. He led the authorities to his unit where he had been allegedly operating out of since December 2023 to manufacture and store cough syrup and medicines for illegal sale in Geylang.

3        The premises was unsanitary. The manufacture of the cough syrup was conducted in the bathroom, where measuring cups containing cough syrup mixture were left uncovered next to the toilet bowl and on the sink countertop. HSA seized 984 prescription-sized 90ml bottles, one 3.8-litre canister and three 25-litre plastic buckets filled with cough syrup. Tools used for manufacturing the cough syrup such as measuring cups and stirrers were also seized. Refer to annex of pdf version for photos.

4       Ms Annie Tan, Director of Enforcement Branch, HSA, said, “As long as there is demand, unscrupulous persons will continue to manufacture and sell cough syrup and medicines for quick gains without regard for human health. HSA will persist with our enforcement efforts and continue to work with the Police and relevant agencies on targeted operations to disrupt the illegal sale and supply of such medicines to safeguard the Singapore public.”

5        HSA takes a serious stand against illegal activities that would harm public health. Anyone caught importing, manufacturing and/or supplying of illegal health products is liable on conviction, to an imprisonment term for up to 2 years and/or fined up to $50,000.

6     Members of the public are encouraged to report any illegal activity involving illegal cough syrup and medicines to the Enforcement Branch of HSA at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

20 MAY 2024

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Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Therapeutic Products

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