Turkish citizens arrested for selling fake cancer drugs
- Ozay Pharmaceuticals is based in Istanbul, Turkey and owned by Sabahaddin Akman.
- The two Turkish citizens, Ozkan Semizoglu and Sabahaddin Akman, pleaded not guilty to charges of “smuggling misbranded and adulterated cancer treatment drugs into the United States” in federal court in St. Louis last Thursday. They were arrested after selling counterfeit drugs to a wholesale drug-distribution company set up by FDA investigators.
- Among the counterfeit drugs that were recovered were vials of fake Avastin (bevacizumab) which contained mold and water -- but no active ingredients.
Federal prosecutors have finally closed in on a complex web of illegal activity involving packaging, selling, and knowingly distributing adulterated, fake oncology drugs. At the heart of the investigation are Akman and Semizoglu, who imported the counterfeit medications through US customs by declaring them as gifts. They also broke large shipments into smaller packages to facilitate their alleged crimes.
Akman and Semizoglu were arrested in January in Puerto Rico by federal agents. Although the illegal drugs caught during the undercover operation never made it to US medical offices, some of the counterfeit products imported from Ozay since 2010 have been distributed in the US. Ozay also supplied illegal cancer drugs though a distributor in the UK.