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Cops Seize $100K in Illegal Painkillers

Cops Seize $100K in Illegal Painkillers
July 13
11:11 2018
Michelle Sutherland, Staff Reporter

A significant shipment of Oxicodone pills, an opioid-based medication that can be converted into heroine, was intercepted by authorities in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday of this week and has led to the arrest of and subsequent charges laid against three persons including a woman.

The medication totalling 8,461 grams, has an estimated street value of over $100,000 Belize and can be bought illegally for $50 a pill, quoted reliable sources.

The discovery was made on July 10th by authorities in Spanish Lookout who were conducting a routine patrol near Riverside Street when they came across a parked taxicab with three occupants inside. When authorities conducted a search inside the cab, nothing incriminating was found; however, a search conducted within the immediate vicinity where the vehicle was parked led to the discovery of a knapsack containing the pills.

As a result, Police apprehended Honduran nationals Sofia Soto, 25, Benque Viejo residents Justin Toralla and Ricardo Chanek and jointly charged and remanded them for the offence of possession with the intent to supply Oxicodone pills.
ACP Joseph Myvette, Head of National Crimes Investigations Branch, says that the pills were taken into a lab for testing and were confirmed to be Oxicodone which is classified as a Class A drug that is illegal in Belize. Oxicodone is a highly addictive narcotic pain reliever that causes persons who use it to become dependent, which results in drug addiction and abuse.

Sources in the Ministry of Health confirmed that controlled pharmaceuticals such as Oxicodone are governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act and based on existing legislation the management and control of pharmaceuticals is done solely under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Since none of the individuals were found in possession of a pharmacist’s license and did not have a permit to import the pills, they were committing an offence.

But while Police are celebrating that significant find they are also trying to identify a link between those pills and another set of Oxicodone pills weighing 896 grams which were found inside a warehouse in San Pedro on July 6th.
In both cases authorities say that they have not been able to determine the origins or the destination of the illegal medication.

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