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Viagra helps Swedish gangs get profits up

21 May 2012, 08:48

Published: 21 May 2012 08:48 GMT+02:00

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In recent years, organized criminals in Sweden have muscled in on the illegal sale of drugs to fight impotency and help people lose weight, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Peddling drugs like counterfeit Viagra provides gangsters with tidy profits without the same sort of risks involved in smuggling and selling cocaine or heroin.

"The fact that organized crime has become increasingly interested in this is due to the high profitability and the weak sentences," Tomas Nilsson, an investigator with the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket), told the paper.

According to DN, the Hells Angels motorcycle gang is believed to be a major player in the sale of Viagra after a raid on a club house in Uppsala last year uncovered a huge stash of impotency medication.

While criminal gangs can double their money by cocaine, illegally imported impotency or diet drugs can yield profits of up to 2,400 percent, according to the newspaper's estimates.

Stopping the flow of illegal pills into Sweden is difficult for customs officials, whose hands are tied from inspecting packages which are sent from within the European Union due to a loophole in the regulations.

"We've drawn attention to this, but nothing happens. There has to be a change in the law," Jonas Karlsson of Swedish Customs (Tullverket) told DN.

According to the Medical Products Agency, the trade in illegally imported drugs like impotency and diet pills has an annual turnover of about 900 million kronor ($126 million).

Story continues below…

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Your comments about this article

09:32 May 21, 2012 by robban70226
Legalize it and solve the problem, It is just stupid to control something so openly available and do not hurt anybody. The traffic exist because the current system is not able to provide the peples needs legaly
09:42 May 21, 2012 by HYBRED
The Swedish government has brought this problem on themselves for the most part. The above mentioned meds and a host of others are available in other EU countries for free, maintaining they improve the quality of life. Sweden charges for these meds, making the black market thrive, and putting peoples health at risk because some of these are fake.
10:01 May 21, 2012 by joeyt
The title should have said "Gangs lend a hand to impotent nation."
21:04 May 21, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
As long as the drugs are genuine, and not just sugar pills then OK. The problem is when counterfeit drugs get into Apotekets shelves & the can`t guarantee the source; horrific if its anti bacterials or ARV´s... like if its from some global warehouse in China....kind of scary, as just about anything can be counterfeit, whiskey, olive oil, LV handbags, reserve parts for motors, tyres.Its pretty easy to print authentic labels with barcodes etc....
06:27 May 22, 2012 by blue2012
I like the headline, Profits are up.

No pun intended, I assume
20:04 May 26, 2012 by Icarusty
@21:04 May 21, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts

You must be blind, it quite clearly says they are counterfeit.
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