Pharmacist jailed for stashing £1.2million worth of Class C controlled drugs to sell illegally

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A pharmacist, who was found with £1.2million worth of Class C controlled drugs to sell without prescriptions, has today been jailed.
Sarfraz Hussain, 50, ran three pharmacies in Birmingham, none of which had a wholesale licence needed to supply medicines in bulk. Despite not having a license, Hussain ordered large amounts of Class C drugs from legitimate suppliers.  When the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) visited one of his pharmacies, Hussain denied any connection with it.
By cross-referencing the drugs Hussain had ordered against the prescriptions the pharmacist had filled, it was apparent that only a small portion of the drugs were supplied legitimately. In total, Hussain had 1,443,036 Class C tablets, including Diazepam, Nitrazepam and Zopiclone in his possession, which he was intending to unlawfully supply. Despite the extensive number of tablets discovered and the prescription evidence pointing to his criminality, Hussain was vague about whether or not he had ordered the drugs.
Faced by a wealth of evidence collected by the MHRA investigators, Hussain entered guilty pleas at an earlier hearing on 20 January this year. Today, at Birmingham Crown Court, he has been sentenced to 2 years and four months in prison.
Philip Slough of 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.”


Notes to editors

  • Philip Slough is a Specialist Prosecutor in the Specialist Fraud Division at the CPS
  • At Birmingham Crown Court on 20/01/2020, Sarfraz Hussain pleaded guilty to:
    • 4 counts of supplying a controlled drug of Class C controlled drug to another
      • 3 counts of possessing a controlled drug of Class C controlled drug with intent to supply it
  • Today Sarfraz Hussain has been jailed for 2 years and four months.

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