Contact lens outlet raided

Confiscated goods: Muralitharan (second from left) and Division Enforcement Chief Idamazura Idris (left) displaying the illegal contact lens at the MDA office in Cyberjaya. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

CYBERJAYA: Unregistered contact lenses from South Korea valued at about RM700,000 were seized during a raid at an outlet in a fashion wholesale mall in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur.

The Medical Device Authority (MDA) made the seizure after raiding a company whose business licence had been revoked last November.

MDA chief executive Dr P. Muralitharan said the company was found to be selling contact lenses online and the MDA is now actively tracking down sales agents for further action.

He said the outlet was first raided in November 2023 in collaboration with the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry for selling unregistered contact lenses, which resulted in the company’s MDA Establishment Licence being revoked.

During the second raid on May 20, which was conducted following public complaints, MDA enforcement officers found evidence of the sale and distribution of unregistered contact lenses by the unlicensed company.

“Information from whistleblowers revealed that sales were still ongoing and it is believed that the products were illegally imported from South Korea and not registered with the MDA.

“The locally-owned company has been operating for the past three years, selling various brands of contact lenses and cleaning solutions, including both registered and unregistered products. This was part of its modus operandi to mislead the authorities,” he told a press conference at MDA headquarters here yesterday.The operation involved 19 MDA enforcement officers who seized a total of 101,186 unlabelled contact lens units, 42,098 assorted brand contact lens units, 276 branded label stickers and 25 related documents for investigative purposes.

The seller is being investigated for offences under Section 25 of the Medical Device Act (Act 737) for continuing to distribute medical devices in the market even after its licence was revoked.

If convicted, the licensee could face a maximum fine of RM200,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both.

According to Muralitharan, investigations revealed that most of the contact lenses were imported from South Korea and brought into Malaysia without valid registration from the MDA. He said that the products are believed to have been brought into the country illegally and without any labels – the company would then apply their homemade labels.

“The unregistered contact lenses sold by this company are priced at around RM9 to RM10. They are far cheaper than the market price, but the safety and authenticity levels cannot be assured because they are not registered with the MDA,” he added.

Meanwhile, he urged those who have purchased and used these unregistered products to file complaints with the MDA to enable the necessary action to be taken. He added that the use of unregistered products could lead to conditions such as swollen eyes and even corneal injuries.

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