Health Ministry and Customs Authority inspectors, in cooperation with Interpol, seized some 16,000 pills suspected of being counterfeit this week.

The tablets, powders and bottles of liquid were confiscated as part of the international Operation Pangea to promote law enforcement efforts around the world, including against illicit and counterfeit drugs sold via the Internet.

Among the drugs were contraceptive pills, erectile dysfunction pills, food additives, diet pills, anabolic steroids and others believed to be counterfeit or containing illegal active ingredients that may not be imported.

The customs inspectors checked thousands of packages sent by sea, air and land, using special profile techniques. A pharmacist checked those that were suspect. The goods originally were shipped from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Jordan, Britain and the US.

Passengers who came through customs were also checked, and some of the violators were found to carry the illegal substances on them. Pills suspected as containing steroids, for example, were wrapped as if they were candies.

One man brought 3,400 anabolic steroid pills in his underpants, while another smuggled pills in a cake.

Another popular piece of clothing used to hide drugs was socks. All of the substances that were confiscated are suspected of endangering health, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

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