NRI sentenced for producing fake Viagra

LONDON, November 28 2004

A UK-based Non-Resident Indian has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison after he was found guilty of manufacturing fake drugs, including viagra tablets, in a six-million-pound secret factory at Wembley in London.

Forty-four-year-old Valentine alias Anant Babu Patel pleaded guilty at the Harrow Crown Court to conspiracy to supply Class C drugs and two charges involving contraventions of the Trade Marks Act and Medicines Act.

The court on Friday sentenced him to five and a half years in Wormwood Scrubs prison and ordered confiscation of his cars and bank accounts.

Two other men were also sentenced for a string of drug offences in the case.

Davin Pattni, 26, was sentenced to three years while Paul Donovan Austin, 39, received an 18-month suspended sentence for assembling medicinal products.

According to the police, Valentine was found to have changed his name from Anant Babu Patel in the late 1980s.

He had also adopted the title of doctor, although he had no medical qualifications.

It is believed that Valentine, who had basic chemistry qualification, built up a knowledge of drugs while working as a sales representative for Pfizer, the drug company that manufactures Viagra, at its headquarters in Sandwich, Kent, in 1990.

He went on to teach himself about manufacturing processes from the internet and books, sourcing machinery from contacts in Mumbai