A BUSINESSWOMAN, who illegally supplied skin bleaching creams containing prescription-only steroids, has been spared a jail sentence and a criminal record.
Yemi Rabiu, originally from Nigeria but living at Cherrywood Park, Clondalkin, in Dublin pleaded guilty to 24 charges for unlawfully conducting retail pharmacy business at her hair extension business address in November 2015 and supply of prescription only products including skin creams on other dates in 2015.
She was prosecuted in Dublin District Court by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) the agency which regulates medicines in Ireland.
Judge Anthony Halpin noted the businesswoman had complied with an order made by the court in October 2017 to pay €2,500 in prosecution costs. He applied the Probation Act sparing her a recorded conviction as well as a possible prison sentence.
Solicitor Ronan O’Neill, for the HPRA, had told the court the case related to skin lightening and skin treatments and contained steroids which can only be dispensed under guidance of a medicinal practitioner.
Customs officers intercepted a package from Nigeria in September 2015 at An Post’s mail centre in Portlaoise. It contained five substances and Mr O’Neill furnished the court with an expert’s report on the products’ contents.
Her home was later searched and 356 cream lotions were recovered. The prosecution solicitor said Rabiu was co-operative and confirmed she had been importing packages of skin creams from Nigeria.
She was selling “skin lightening” cream for €5 each and other creams at €2 each at her business premises in Clondalkin where another 24 products were found which also contained steroids.
The woman had no prior criminal convictions and has not come to attention since, the court was told.
Pleading for leniency her barrister said the creams and lotions were readily available in Nigeria and the mother-of-four did not realise she was breaking the law in Ireland. He asked the court to note that she has limited earnings from her business and it was “simply ignorance of the law”.
Counsel also asked the court to note that he woman has not been a burden on the State.
She faced a possible a fine of up to €4,000 per charge and a maximum 12-month sentence.