Indian Man Will Spend 33 Months In Prison For Selling Misbranded Drugs To Americans

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a 44-year-old Mumbai resident received a 33-month sentence. Ramesh Buchirajam Akkela orchestrated a scheme to ship misbranded prescription drugs from India to customers in the U.S. He sent thousands of pills to reshippers within the U.S. who would then forward the appropriate amount of pills to the customers that ordered them.

According to the indictment, Akkela ran Vivin International and maintained multiple websites offering to sell customers drugs such as Cialis, Viagra, Soma, and Tramadol without requiring a valid prescription. The last two are Schedule IV controlled substances because of their addictive properties. In addition to using reshippers within the U.S., Akkela also shipped pills indirectly through other Internet-based offshore drug distributors. One company that resold Akkela’s pills was Costa Rica-based CDR Marketing Services.

The indictment alleged that Akkela took steps for his shipments to avoid detection by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol which included sending multiple smaller shipments, sending packages to a variety of P.O. Boxes in the same geographic area, falsifying Customs forms, and the usage of fake names by himself and the receivers. At one time, N.R., a reshipper located in western Pennsylvania had over 300,000 misbranded pills waiting to be shipped to customers. Over just a three-month period, another re-shipper based in Houston, Texas and referred to as M.M.P. received 162,800 pills.

Assistant United States Attorney Shardul S. Desai prosecuted this case. If you decide to buy your prescription drugs online, the only shop at online pharmacies with website addresses that end in .pharmacy.