Despite numerous attempts by authorities to curb the trade, these bogus drugs always make a comeback. Channel NewsAsia's Aqil Haziq Mahmud finds out why sellers are so persistent, and how they might be stopped.
The assortment of illegal sex drugs sold openly in Geylang. (Photo: Aqil Haziq Mahmud)
SINGAPORE: During most of the day and night, there is a non-stop flurry of activity at the junction of Geylang Road and Aljunied Road.
Bank ATMs and the 24-hour minimart there see a constant stream of patrons, and the scent of durians from adjacent Sims Avenue is never too far away.
But some visit the bustling intersection for another purpose: To purchase illegal sexual enhancement drugs from sellers who blatantly peddle these products.
The drugs carry names like India Flirting Powder and Super Magic Man, and according to one of the sellers, they promise "power and enjoyment" during sex.
When Channel NewsAsia visited the junction on the afternoon of Sep 28, there were at least three sellers hawking illicit sex drugs on makeshift tables made up of nothing more than a wooden plank propped up by white Styrofoam boxes.
“For boy or girl?” the seller asked in halting English, before recommending a Baolong brand pill. “This one made in Hong Kong.” On the silver packaging, some instructions: “One time, one pill.”
When asked if it was safe for use, the seller simply said yes. It goes for S$8 a pop, he said. He makes S$50 a day, he added, and business has been fine.
Such drugs remain prevalent despite attempts by the authorities to clamp down on the illicit trade.
On Sep 27, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced that it had seized about 300,000 units of illegal sexual enhancement drugs from an apartment in Geylang. The haul, worth a street value of S$700,000, was the largest seizure in five years, it said.
When Channel NewsAsia visited the junction on that same evening, there were five men openly selling sex drugs. Business seemed slow, however, with only two people stopping by at their tables in the space of 45 minutes.
On the next day, business was brisker, with at least 10 people dropping by within an hour to purchase or enquire about the drugs. Most of them looked to be at least 40 years of age.
Another seller, who claimed to be from China, offered a pill called Golden Gun for S$10. “This one good,” he said, before pointing to his chest and indicating that there would be no health complications.
A seller taking out one of the Baolong pills for sale. (Photo: Aqil Haziq Mahmud)
The HSA told Channel NewsAsia on Monday that such products could “potentially be counterfeits or adulterated with undeclared potent or banned ingredients”. “As they are manufactured under unknown conditions, they may not contain the correct ingredients, or the right dosages.”
In 2008, 10 people died after using illegal products for sexual enhancement, it said. Checks conducted found that the products were adulterated with a medicine used to treat diabetes.
“This resulted in many consumers experiencing symptoms associated with low blood sugar, such as dizziness, cold sweat, anxiety and loss of consciousness,” it added.
HSA said the products also contain anti-impotency compounds that, if taken without medical supervision, might cause a loss of vision and hearing, strokes and priapism, which is a painful and exceedingly long erection.
“If priapism is not treated immediately, it may lead to permanent impotence,” it added.
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