Over 70% fake medicines come via UAE

Updated: Aug 17, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Dubai: About 73 percent of the fake medicines seized at the European borders last year was routed through the UAE, a newspaper report has said.

According to an European Commission Taxation and Customs Union report, the last port of call for 15 percent of the 118 million articles seized in Europe was the UAE, The National newspaper reported.

The most recent figures revealed that 73 percent of fake medicines and 16 percent of fake tobacco products came from the UAE, the paper said.

The Dubai Customs, which declined to comment on the latest report, however, pointed out that last year it did not have the legal authority to inspect goods on ships that arrived in its port en route to another destination.

The number of fake medicines arriving via the UAE rose from around 750,000 in 2008 to almost 5.5 million in 2009.

David Boublil, a spokesman for the Taxation and Customs Union`s Directorate-General, was quoted by the paper as saying that it is impossible for customs officials to say with certainty where in the world the goods were manufactured before arriving in the UAE.

"We did not try to distinguish between countries of origin and countries of provenance this time," he said.

The previous report for 2008 also demonstrated that the UAE played a major role in the transportation of fake goods across the world.

The report noted, however, that "due to a more specific registration of product categories, it is difficult to make an exact comparison between 2009 and the years before".

Meanwhile, UAE officials have been clamping down on fake goods in recent years.

Dubai Customs seized a stash of seven million sexual stimulant and fertility tablets from a warehouse in the dry port in June, the paper added.

PTI