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17 October 2018

Pharmacist and man charged over illicit international supply of restricted drug

Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police, Department of Home Affairs, New South Wales Crime Commission, New South Wales Police Force

A Sydney-based pharmacist and a male associate have been charged as part of a joint agency investigation into illicit drug supply.

In 2017, Operation Sudwala was established by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police Force (NSWPF), Australian Border Force (ABF), Department of Home Affairs (DHA), NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to investigate the importation and supply of prohibited drugs.

As part of the joint investigation, Operation Sudwala investigators were conducting inquiries into the illicit exportation of prescribed restricted substances overseas.

On Tuesday 7 August 2018, investigators executed search warrants at a pharmacy at Mosman and a home at Sydney Olympic Park, where they seized various items relevant to the investigation.

Following further investigations, a 31-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man were charged by way of Future Court Attendance Notices and are due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 21 November 2018.

Police will allege in court that the woman supplied more than 2400 Gardasil 9 ‘injections’ to the man, who then exported the substance under a false declaration to Hong Kong.

The estimated retail value of the drugs is AUD$500,000 in Australia and more than AUD$600,000 in Hong Kong.

The woman, who is a registered pharmacist, was charged with three counts of prohibition on wholesale supply of certain substances.

The man was charged with nine counts of prohibition on wholesale supply of certain substances.

Investigators have referred the pharmacist to Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

* Gardasil 9 Human Papillomavirus 9-valent vaccine is used for the prevention of cervical cancer and appears on Schedule 4 of the Poisons List of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. There is currently a nationwide shortage of the vaccine in Australia.

Media enquiries:

AFP Media: (02) 6131 6333.

NSW Police Media: (02) 8263 6100

ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244

ACIC Media: (02) 6268 7343.

NSW Crime Commission: (02) 9269 3888

Last updated
17 October 2018