Fake Botox smuggling foiled at crossing

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British Bases Customs officials in Dhekelia have revealed that ampules of fake Botox were one of the more bizarre items an individual attempted to smuggle over the crossing point last year.

The incident happened towards the end of 2022 when officers discovered 45 ampules of Mas Port 500 – better known as Botox – concealed in a bag with chocolates inside a woman’s suitcase.

After questioning, the woman claimed she was heading to Vienna on holiday for two weeks and was taking the Botox with her for personal use.

Head of SBA Customs in Dhekelia, Mark Hartley, said her explanation immediately raised suspicion in his offers.

“She gave no credible explanation as to why such a large quantity of Botox would be required for a two-week vacation.

“Her claim was that her boyfriend had given them to her as a present, and as she was 45 years old, she intended to inject the Botox all over her body.”

Counterfeit products are one of the most common items smuggled from the Turkish-occupied north, and the Customs chief said this could not be ruled out in this case either.

“Botox is not commonly detected at the crossing points, and with the origin of the Botox unidentifiable due to lack of genuine supporting documentation, it is suspected that the Botox could be counterfeit.

“Fake Botox can lead to serious health consequences with adverse reactions including tissue death, facial paralysis, scarring and allergic reactions.

“Sources of botulinum toxin are distributed from unlicensed overseas retailers.”

All ampules of the Botox were seized, and a compound penalty was paid in lieu of prosecution.