Head of BPOM, Penny K. Lukito, said in Jakarta that the agency was working with the Indonesian National Police and the Indonesian Express Delivery Service Company (Asperindo) to carry out a red-handed catch operation by raiding two illegal warehouses and one house suspected of being illegal drug storage and distribution in the Kebon Jeruk area in West Jakarta, which is owned by a suspect with the initial M.
"About 291 items (552,177 pieces) of illegal drugs worth Rp17.4 billion were seized from the three places," Lukito noted.
Lukito explained that illegal drugs include erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Max Man.
In addition, slimming supplements, traditional stamina enhancing drugs for men, and illegal cosmetic creams, as well as sex stimulants, were also seized.
Lukito noted that there were several fake products seized, after one of the top drug manufacturers in Indonesia made a claim to BPOM.
Based on Antara`s observation, the total illegal drugs seized can be transported in three large cargo trucks.
Furthermore, the modus operandi applied by suspect M was to sell the drugs online through one of the major "e-commerce" and through shipping services.
"The transaction value of Rp17.4 billion from the sale of illegal drugs per day reaches between Rp3 million and Rp1.5 billion. It was found from 97 savings books and receipts for proof of transactions found by investigators," he added.
BPOM stated that erectile dysfunction drugs are among the largest illegal drugs that are often misused as strong sexual stimulants in the last five years.
The use of erectile dysfunction drugs without the supervision of health workers can lead to a risk of heart problems, kidney problems, and bleeding.
Reporting by Devi Nindy Sari Ramadhan
Editing by Andi Abdussalam, Rahmad Nasution