Ha Noi Police, on Wednesday, said that about 2,000 boxes containing medicinal drugs that were found in a vacant rice field in Thanh Tri district, had been disposed of illegally.
The boxes were found in 54 sacks scattered across the field.
Environmental Police Division Lieutenant Colonel, Pham Giang Son, said that the drugs were manufactured by Thanh Tri-based Intechpharms Co., Ltd for Sao Hoang Gia Joint Stock Commercial Company.
The drugs were found to be substandard and were returned to the manufacturer.
Instead of following the regulatory procedures to destroy the drugs, Intechpharms dumped them in a vacant field adjacent to the Phap Van highway.
The 1,970 boxes contained children’s medication such as calcium, Egokids and Royal cough syrup.
The drugs then mysteriously disappeared two days after they were discovered in the field. Residents in the district said they saw sacks being loaded onto a truck.
Police identified the truck driver as Tran Dinh Kiem, 36, from Hoang Mai district’s Tu Ky commune. He admitted that he was paid VND100,000 (US$ 4.7) by Intechpharms to pick up the drugs and take it to Ao En in Thanh Tri district.
The driver said that six or seven workers helped him load and unload the drugs.
Police are continuing with their investigation and have asked Intechpharms to retrieve the drugs from Ao En.
Viet Nam Health Environment Management Agency Deputy Director General, Nguyen Thanh Ha said that an administrative board should be established to monitor the disposal of drugs.
He said that drug manufacturers should submit safety disposal plans.
“Drug manufacturers should be held responsible for any violation of disposal procedures,” said the Deputy Director General.