"in the wrong hands they could put real people at real risk."
Pharmacist Sarfraz Hussain, aged 50, of Birmingham, has been sentenced to two years and four months in prison after he was found with a stash of Class C controlled drugs worth £1.2 million.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he intended to sell the drugs without prescriptions.
Hussain ran three pharmacies in Birmingham, however, none of them had a wholesale licence, which is required to supply medicines in bulk.
Even though he did not have a licence, Hussain ordered large quantities of Class C controlled drugs from legitimate suppliers.
When the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) visited one of his pharmacies, Hussain denied any connection with it.
The MHRA subsequently launched an investigation into the large orders Hussain made.
They made a breakthrough when they cross-referenced the drugs Hussain had ordered against the prescriptions the pharmacist had filled.
It was revealed that only a small portion of the drugs had been supplied legitimately.
In total, Hussain had 1,443,036 Class C tablets in his possession. This included Diazepam, Nitrazepam and Zopiclone. He intended to illegally supply them.
Despite the extensive number of tablets discovered and the prescription evidence pointing to his illegal activities, Hussain remained vague about whether or not he had ordered the drugs.
However, Hussain was faced with a wealth of evidence that had been collected by MHRA investigators.
At a hearing on January 20, 2020, Hussain pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying a Class C controlled drug to another and a further three counts of possessing a Class C controlled drug with intent to supply it.
Philip Slough, Specialist Prosecutor in the Specialist Fraud Division at the CPS, said:
“The reason controls are in place are to prevent potentially dangerous drugs being circulated to vulnerable people without any regulation, in the wrong hands they could put real people at real risk.
“I hope Hussain’s conviction sends a message to other pharmacists and industry professionals, that if they fail to comply with the regulations that are in place to protect the public, we will look to prosecute where possible.
“We will be seeking a confiscation order to make sure that Mr Hussain does not benefit from this criminal and dangerous activity.”
On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Sarfraz Hussain was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.
Following his sentence, the court also intends to seek a confiscation order against Hussain.