Ni Komang Erviani , The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Sat, 11/22/2008 12:57 PM | Bali
Officers of the Denpasar Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency seized a large quantity of illegal drugs and beauty products worth about Rp 2.5 billion (US$201,000), a senior official said Friday.
The confiscated products either were not legally approved for distribution or contained dangerous chemical substances.
“The beauty products contain hydroquinone and tretinoin, chemical substances that are dangerous to the human body. The distribution of these products poses a grave danger to the public’s health,” the agency’s head of investigating unit, Wayan Bagiartha Negara, said.
The agency has placed hydroquinone and tretinoin on its list of banned substances.
Hydroquinone, usually found in skin-whitening products, can cause skin cancer while tretinoin can endanger the heath of a pregnant woman’s unborn child.
Most of the seized goods were imported products from Australia, China and Italy. The officers also found counterfeited products of several well-known brands, including Olay and Ponds whitening beauty soap.
The products were seized in a one-week-long operation targeting stores in Kuta, Denpasar, Klungkung and Singaraja.
“Out of a total of 30 stores raided, we found 17 which were selling these products,” he said.
In the course of the operation, the officers also arrested five people for allegedly distributing the illegal products. The suspects are being held at the Bali Provincial Police headquarters.