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U.K. Chemist Convicted for Drug Counterfeiting

A University College London organic chemistry lecturer was convicted for creating and selling counterfeit medication in the United Kingdom.

The Independent reports that chemist Christiaan Winkel, a Dutch national, imported a machine from China and chemicals to make £1.6 million worth of fake erectile dysfunction pills and also used the equipment to make fake Ecstacy.

He pressed samples using white powder to show a “potential dealer,” reports the Independent, but was intercepted in his trial runs by undercover police officers. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud as well as conspiracy to manufacture Ecstacy.

In 2009, Winkel quit his job as an organic chemistry lecturer at University College London (UCL) to set up his own chemical import business. He then made contact with an undercover investigator through a website and offered to make the pills for erectile dysfunction. He set up the machinery and chemicals in an east London flat to begin manufacturing.

Ingredients for the products were found in Safa Ba Seidi’s home at a hostel in the grounds of a mosque in Tottenham. Ba Seidi, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to supply Ecstasy and was jailed for 21 months.

Winkel’s girlfriend, Yuly Sandoval Mora, 33, of Holloway, north London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and was given an eight-month sentence suspended for a year.

Detective Inspector Doug Blackwood said after the case: “These three people were trying to flood the country with drugs that didn’t work and could have caused anyone who took them serious harm.”

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