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Cablegate: Largest Counterfeit Drug Seizure Ever in Indonesia

VZCZCXRO0164
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2097 2150655
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030655Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 1859
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5638
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4183
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0962
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4114
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0627
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2363
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUQODAZ/CARIBROC KEY WEST FL
RHHJJPI/PACOM IDHS HONOLULU HI
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002097

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS; EB/TPP/IPE; INL/AAE; INL/C
COMMERCE FOR 4430/ BERLINGUETTE
COMMERCE PASS USPTO JNESS
DEPT PASS USTR FOR WEISEL, DKATZ, RBAE,

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD KCOR ECON SNAR ID
SUBJECT: LARGEST COUNTERFEIT DRUG SEIZURE EVER IN INDONESIA

REF: A. JAKARTA 00011
B. JAKARTA 01813
C. JAKARTA 02035

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On July 23 Government of Indonesian (GOI)
law enforcement authorities conducted the largest seizure
ever of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Jakarta police raided a
warehouse seizing over 16 million finished tablets of
counterfeit pharmaceuticals valued between $3 and $7 million.
This latest seizure took place only three days after
authorities seized over one hundred and fifty 50 kg bags of
drugs in a separate raid (reftel C) and less than a month
after police closed down two optical disk factories suspected
of illegal production on July 1 (reftel B). END SUMMARY

Imported Counterfeit Medicines
------------------------------

2. (SBU) Indonesian police raided a warehouse in Jakarta
serving as a distribution center for imported counterfeit
medicines on July 23. Authorities seized 16 million finished
tablets of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, fifty thousand
capsules and almost 1000 syrup bottles. Police estimated the
value of the counterfeit medicines at between $3 and $7
million. GOI officials contend this is the largest
counterfeit drug seizure ever worldwide. Evidence collected
from the site by investigators confirmed the counterfeit
product was destined for three well-known Jakarta
pharmaceutical retailers for domestic sale. Much like
previous raids, the medicines were packaged with brand-name
corporate markings, including Pfizer, GalxoSmithKline, Bauer
and Roche. Police investigators suspect the medicines were
imported from China, but results of the investigation are not
definitive. The owner of the premises fled the scene and
police authorities believe he has departed the country for
China.

U.S. Technical Assistance Draws Private Sector Support
--------------------------------------------- ----------

3. (SBU) Law enforcement authorities benefited from
intelligence and technical assistance provided through the
State Department/INL-funded, Department of Justice
International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance
Program (ICITAP). ICITAP advisors, in addition to providing
training and assistance, also successfully persuaded a
consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers to fund sample
testing of the seized medicines. The pharmaceutical
companies have also agreed to finance construction of a
storage facility for seized goods.


Investigation May Extend to Importation
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) This latest counterfeit drug raid follows a
impressive string of successful intellectual property rights
(IPR) related enforcement actions by Indonesian authorities.
ICITAP advisors tell us that if test results by
pharmaceutical companies show the counterfeit medicines posed
significant health risks to consumers, law enforcement
authorities may broaden the investigation to include the
importation of the drugs into Indonesia, potentially
implicating GOI Customs officials. Post continues to
recommend increased support of IPR-related assistance to the
GOI, including extension of the ICITAP program for another
year and development of DOJ/OPDAT assistance to the Attorney
General's Office to ensure successful prosecutions.
HUME

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