Couple arrested for selling banned diet pills

The owners, a man, 51, and his wife, 38, presented the pills as “natural” slimming supplements, police said.

July 5, 2011 07:19
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police arrest handcuffs suspect cops criminal 311 (R). (photo credit: Benoit Tessier / Reuters)


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A married couple who owns a dieting clinic in Tel Aviv was arrested on Monday on suspicion of selling slimming pills that contain sibutramine, an active ingredient that has been banned for causing serious cardiovascular problems.

The arrest followed a joint investigation by Tel Aviv police and the Health Ministry’s Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit, after the latter received intelligence on the clinic.

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The owners, a man, 51, and his wife, 38, presented the pills as “natural” slimming supplements, police said.

Both suspects have denied all suspicions against them.

The arrest followed a raid on the clinic, which uncovered hundreds of pills suspected of containing the dangerous ingredient. The pills will be analyzed at a laboratory in the coming days.

Sibutramine was once available as a prescription drug, but has been removed from the market in Israel, the EU, and other Western countries after a link was established between the drug and cases of death and injury caused by cardiovascular malfunctions, police added.

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