over 800,000 pills were unaccounted for
Pharmacist Balkeet Singh Khaira, aged 37, of Sutton Coldfield, was jailed for 12 months after he sold up to 800,000 prescription drugs on the black market.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he worked at his mother’s ‘Khaira Pharmacy’ on the High Street in West Bromwich.
During 2016 and 2017, the drugs were sold for huge profits. The value of these pills on the black market is estimated to be worth more than £1 million.
Khaira made over £59,000 from the Class C drugs, which are prescribed for pain relief and to treat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.
An investigation was launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Investigators subsequently visited the pharmacy.
At the pharmacy, records showed that hundreds of thousands of doses of diazepam, nitrazepam, tramadol, zolpidem and zopiclone were bought from wholesalers.
However, only a small percentage had been dispensed against prescription.
MHRA said that over 800,000 pills were unaccounted for, which Khaira later admitted he sold to drug dealers.
The investigation began following allegations that the pharmacy was selling large quantities of prescription-only medicine without a prescription.
When the General Pharmaceutical Council contacted the pharmacy, Khaira pretended to be his mother and said he was “shocked and blindsided” by the accusations.
He went on to provide bogus evidence in a bid to disprove the allegations.
MHRA said Khaira claimed that after initially making a voluntary sale to drug dealers he was then forced to sell further drugs after he was threatened outside the pharmacy.
He refused to provide any information on who these people were or who he sold to.
Under an interim order, Khaira was suspended from the General Pharmaceutical Council’s pharmacist register.
His mother was not involved in any of the criminal activity.
The pharmacist pleaded guilty to five charges of supplying a controlled Class C drug.
Birmingham Mail reported that he was jailed for 12 months.
MHRA officer Grant Powell said:
“It is a serious criminal offence to sell controlled, unlicensed or prescription-only medicines in this way.”
“Anyone who sells medicines illegally could be exploiting vulnerable people and clearly has no regard for their health or welfare.
“Prescription only medicines are potent and should only be taken under medical supervision.
“We work closely with regulatory and law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those involved.
“If you think you have been offered a medicine illegally, or have any information about suspected or known illegal trading in medicines, please contact the MHRA.”