A £240,000 Ferrari, Rolex watch and £50,000 cash seized in raid on ‘Botox cowboy’ importing unlicensed vials and fillers
Police have arrested three people after executing seven warrants in Bolton and Wigan, joining the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Police have seized a £240,000 Ferrari during dawn raids on so-called ‘Botox cowboys’ who are suspected of illegally selling the product on the black market.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have arrested three people after finding 10,000 vials of Botox, dermal fillers and numbing agents believed to have been lined up for sale on social media and for sale directly to salons.
During the raid on Thursday 13 July the Ferrari, an F12 Berlinetta, was found at an address in Bolton, along with £50,000 in cash and an expensive Rolex watch.
It was one of seven searches in the Bolton and Wigan area as police worked with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Operation Striker.
The agency also wants to crack down on the black market of unlicensed beauty products that are not guaranteed to be safe, with items found in the crackdown believed to have been imported from South Korea, The Sun reported.
The red and black Ferrari F12 Berlinetta was seized by police at an address in Bolton during an early morning raid
Officers seized £50,000 in cash while investigating people suspected of importing illegal beauty products
Andy Morling, the MHRA’s head of enforcement, told the paper that criminal gangs exploit public concerns about how they appear to make ‘huge’ profits without any regard for safety.
He said: ‘If we don’t license these products for use, there is no guarantee that they are not safe.
‘Best of all, it’s a genuine product that hasn’t been quality tested in the UK.
‘At worst, however, it could be anything. Getting it under your skin is Russian roulette.’
‘They [criminal gangs] Don’t tell a monkey about what harm they do.’
Botox, which is short for botulinum toxin, is often injected into the skin by people looking to smooth lines and wrinkles.
However, if done incorrectly or dosed incorrectly, it can cause a frozen look and make it difficult for users to move their facial muscles. If Botox gets into this area, it can cause the eyelids or eyebrows to droop.
Detective Inspector James Coles of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit added that criminals make ‘hundreds, thousands, millions’ of pounds in untaxed revenue from the black market for these products.
Police said a 34-year-old man and two women aged 36 to 53 have been taken into custody on suspicion of money laundering and offenses under the Human Medicines Act.
Speaking after the raid, DI Coles said: ‘This morning’s action shows a really good example of partners working together to tackle common problems in our communities, we are determined to tackle money laundering in Greater Manchester and are trying to make it as tough as possible. It is possible for individuals to conceal illicit funds.
‘Although we have three people in custody, an investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to investigate and eradicate this type of criminal activity from the area.’
Mr Morling added: ‘Such drugs are powerful and dangerous in the wrong hands, with potentially serious adverse health consequences. Criminals trading these products are not only breaking the law, they have no regard for your safety.
‘It is illegal to advertise, sell or supply such drugs without proper authorisation. If you see these products or any other powerful drugs being sold on social media or elsewhere online, think about it. It is unlikely to be valid. You can help the MHRA take action by reporting concerns through our Yellow Card scheme.
‘Our Criminal Enforcement Unit will continue to work to protect your health by disrupting this harmful and illegal business. We are grateful to our partners in Greater Manchester Police for helping us in our efforts to make this happen today.’
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