14,000 Smuggled Pills Seized in Transit from Singapore to Mumbai

Indian Customs Official seized 14,000 misoprostol tables from a Mumbai resident who arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport from Singapore on January 31, 2011.

Officers apprehended the suspect, Yusuf Masalawala, 54, while evading customs by going through the “green channel,” which indicates no customs declaration.  Customs officials said that no medicine conveyed without declaration is allowed in such a large quantity because it is clearly beyond personal use, reported the Hindustani Times.

Customs authorities are concerned that the medicine, used to prevent deadly hemmoraging after childbirth, may be fake.  “We are checking if these tablets are adulterated,” said the customs officials.  

“Each year, 45 million women deliver without a skilled attendant, a situation in which the greatest number of maternal deaths occurs,” says World Health Organization experts, adding that “women can safely self-administer misoprostol orally to effectively prevent postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).” Dropping the rate of death in childbirth is central to the organization’s  Millennium Development Goal to reducing maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015.