Couple to face South Shields magistrates on Viagra drugs supply charges

A couple have have been charged with supplying and importing sex aid drug Viagra after hundreds of thousands of tablets were seized by police.

The 58-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman are due to appear before South Shields magistrates following an investigation dating back to last summer.

The pair were arrested after officers seized 63 boxes filled with 226,882 Viagra and 24,920 Class C pills, more than £10,000 in cash and two vehicles worth £22,000.

Police estimate the street value of the drugs haul at around £500,000.

Two people have been charged with Viagra importation and supply offences following a Northumbria Police operation.

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Officers from the disruption team at the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU) discovered the items after they searched two properties following collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

More than £201,000 worth of assets and money associated with the pair was also frozen after an application was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The couple, from Gateshead, were arrested on suspicion of buying and selling Class C drugs and are now due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in July to face a total of nine counts.

The charges include importation and conspiracy to supply Class C drugs and money laundering.

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Detective Chief Inspector Steve Pescod, of NERSOU, said: “Viagra can only be sold in a registered pharmacy – purchasing this item from anywhere else could ultimately endanger lives. Anybody found to be selling this item illicitly can expect to be dealt with swiftly and robustly.

“We will continue to tackle all forms of drug supply under the banner of Operation Sentinel – our joined up approach to tackling serious and organised crime.

“We will also continue to work alongside our partners at the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and continue to share information which will keep our communities safe.”

Lynda Scammell, spokesperson from MHRA Enforcement Group, added: “We urge people to visit their doctor if they have a health concern. Self-diagnosis and buying medicines can be risky. Buy your medicines from a reputable source – for example, a registered pharmacy. Don’t gamble with your health.”

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Anyone with information about the illegal sale or supply of drugs can report this on the www.northumbria.police.uk website.