The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has impounded 8,320 packets of fake medicines and tobacco products at five border communities in the Volta Region.
The products, concealed in cartons and sacks and labelled as food products, were seized in Ho, Dabala, Shia, Nyive and Aflao.
At a press briefing in Accra Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, said the culprits had been handed over to the police for further investigations.
She said the checks on the products were conducted by the FDA, in partnership with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Volta Regional FDA Task Force.
Mrs Darko said the products included antibiotics (Flucloxacillin and Penicillin), analgesics and steroids (Tramadol, Pawafenac and Dexamethasone), Postinor 2 and test kits (malaria and pregnancy test kits).
“We got to know about the nefarious activities when our staff began thorough inspection and examinations at the Ho, Dabala, Shia, Nyive and Aflao borders,” she said.
According to her, the products were en route to various parts of the country.
Mrs Darko said the FDA had increased the number of its staff at various border points and directed that surveillance be mounted at the various entry points.
She said the directive was taken to halt the smuggling of fake products through unapproved entry points into the country.
“We began this initiative last year and have put in place measures to stop unwholesome products from getting into the country,” she said.
She said by regulation, the only approved points of entry for the importation of medicines into the country were the Tema Harbour and the Kotoka International Airport.
“The FDA wishes to state emphatically that medicines smuggled through unapproved routes will be confiscated and disposed of safely at the expense of the owners.
Additionally, the culprits will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” she stated.
Mrs Darko urged the public to purchase medicines only from approved health facilities and also report any adverse effects on them after taking the medicines, adding: “This will enable us to track down the offenders.”