NBI raids Colon shop for selling fake Viagra pills

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05:14 AM October 3rd, 2013

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By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Carine M. Asutilla, October 3rd, 2013 05:14 AM

HARD TARGET. NBI supervising agent Rennan Oliva takes a call as samples of fake Viagra drugs lie on his desk. (Lito Tecson)

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) yesterday arrested a businessman and seized over a million pesos worth of fake sex enhancement pills from a shop in downtown Cebu City.

Ali Tang, owner of Golden Ling Merchandising, was arrested and taken to the NBI regional office for further investigation. He will be charged with violating Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, particularly on the provision against “trademark infringement and unfair competition.”

According to NBI supervising agent Renan Augustus Oliva, they received a complaint from Pfizer Inc. regarding the proliferation of fake Viagra tablets in Cebu City. “We conducted a test buy and found out that the Viagra tablets sold in this establishment were fake,” Oliva told reporters.

With a search warrant issued by Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr., the NBI agents raided Golden Ling Merchandising located at the corner of Colon Street and Osmeña Blvd at around 10:30 a.m. yesterday. They confiscated a total of 383 boxes each containing four tablets of the fake Viagra. The agents also seized 60 bottles of sex enhancement drugs.

Oliva, the team leader in yesterday’s operation, said Pfizer certified that the Viagra tablets sold in the suspect’s shop were fake.

“A box of Viagra sold here costs P150. One box contains four tablets of Viagra. But the original cost of the erectile dysfunction medication from Pfizer is P3,200 per box,” he said.

Oliva said the fake Viagra tablets may cause health problems to those who use them.

“Public safety is an issue here. We do not know what ingredients were used in these fake Viagra tablets,” he said.

Maximo Ocampo, a Pfizer consultant, said they received information that street vendors sell fake Viagra tablets.

“We later learned that these vendors got their supply from the store, Golden Ling Merchandising,” he said in an interview.

Ocampo said there was an incident in another country where someone died after taking a fake sex enhacement drug.

Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Law holds liable “any person who shall, without the consent of the owner of the registered mark use in commerce any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of a registered mark or the same container or a dominant feature thereof in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, advertising of any goods or services including other preparatory steps necessary to carry out the sale of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive.”

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