News24

Up for fraud, illegal exports

2003-11-21 08:44

Note: In the following report it is incorrectly stated that fraud charges were instituted against the accused, Darroll Hornbuckle. He was charged with the export from South Africa of items of specified schedule 5 medicines without an export permit. On 5 May 2004, he paid an admission of guilt fine of R15 000 for contravening Section 22 (A) of Act 10I/1965 (The Medicine and Related Substances Control Act). This section deals with the Control of Medicines and Scheduled Substances and states, inter alia: "Subject to this section, no person shall sell, have in his or her possession or manufacture any medicine or Scheduled substance, except in accordance with the prescribed conditions." Hornbuckle's fine was paid after a plea bargain was struck with the State.

With regard to the report stating that Hornbuckle exported medicine "using false doctors' prescriptions to place his orders from wholesalers. He would use these slips to acquire the medicines and then advertise them on the internet...": Hornbuckle did not use false prescriptions and he did not advertise medicine on the internet. With regard to the report stating that "one thousand five hundred envelopes, containing Schedule five medicines and meant for delivery to recipients in the United Kingdom, United States, Romania, Russia and Brazil, were found", the facts are that the envelopes contained non-controlled medicines, handed in at the Main Post Office in Durban for postage as legal exports. This was confirmed by the Senior Prosecutor at the Durban Magistrates Court. Hornbuckle was charged on the issue of five items of specified schedule 5 medicine that required an export permit.

The accused accepted a plea bargain on his attorney's advice to save substantial legal costs in defending his arrest and the plea bargain entailed the following: paying the admission of guilt fine for the export from South Africa, without an export permit, of five items of specified schedule 5 medicine; the fine would not be recorded as a criminal conviction as the offence was minor; and the prosecutor ordered that this minor status should be confirmed in a letter from the Organized Crime Division of the SA Police Service. The Medicines Control Council was also ordered to return all the envelopes, the medicines contained in them, all medicine inventory and all documentation, incorrectly seized by the SAPS and Medicines Control Council (MCC), to Hornbuckle.

Durban - A 51-year-old man appeared in the Durban magistrate's court on Thursday on 1 000 counts of fraud and the illegal exportation in and sale of Schedule five medicines.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Superintendent Vish Naidoo said police arrested Darryl Hornbuckle, following a three-week observation by Durban's organised crime unit and the Medicines Control Council of a post office in Durban.

"One thousand five hundred envelopes, containing Schedule five medicines and meant for delivery to recipients in the United Kingdom, United States, Romania, Russia and Brazil, were found."

Naidoo said the man appeared on fraud charges after using false doctors' prescriptions to place his orders from wholesalers.

"He would use these slips to acquire the medicines and then advertise them on the internet."

The man was granted bail of R5 000 and the case was postponed to March 7, Naidoo said.