16 January 2010
Two factories were raided by officials from the Health Ministry and found to have more than RM2 million worth of dangerous chemicals, including sildenafil, a drug known to treat erectile dysfunction.
Deputy enforcement director Wan Hamid Wan Ibrahim said authorities have been investigating the case for months as they suspected a company was responsible for the manufacture of coffee mixtures laced with sildenafil. The drug is usually available only upon a doctor’s prescription.
Enforcement officials raided a factory in Villa Raya Industrial Park on Wednesday at 5:30pm and struck another in nearby Taman Sri Haneco.
In the first factory, they found 2kg of white powder, believed to be sildenafil, in a rubbish compartment. There was machinery used to produce powdered coffee mixtures from ingredients such as glucose, sugar, flavouring powder and cocoa powder. Investigations revealed that 70,000 packets, priced between RM10 and RM20 each, could be produced there. Wan Hamid said these mixtures were distributed locally by direct-selling companies, who did not declare the existence of the drug in them.
Two Nepalese men and a local man, who claimed to be a technician, were nabbed.
If not consumed with a doctor’s instruction, sildenafil could cause side effects such as headache, flushing, stomachache, blurred vision, and even sudden death.
Slimming health products were also found to be containing sibutramine, an appetite suppressant. Uncontrolled consumption of this drug can cause nausea, constipation and dizziness.
Eight women were found packing coffee mixtures into boxes in the second raid. On these boxes were printed “Made in France”, “Made in Japan” and “Made in the United States”.
New Straits Times Online – RM2m drug-laced coffee haul