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Arrest of Professor over Distribution of Banned Drug

Iranian professor, Prof. Allagholi Elahi was arrested by police in Uganda after failing to comply with the ban on the anti-Aids drug// and tuberculosis herb (Khomeini).

The professor who is also the director of Elahi International Initiatives for Development and Education (IEIIDE) is facing four counts of manufacturing and distributing a banned drug.

Mr Pearson Barasha, the head of the Anti Narcotics Unit said that Elahi is likely to face charges of manufacturing a drug that is not in compliance with international formulae and without approval from NDA - supplying a restricted drug from uncertified premises; publication of description matter for Khomeini I, II and III for prevention or treatment of tuberculosis, a disease in the 5th schedule of NDA and preparation and supply of a drug by a person who is not a pharmacist, medical practitioner, dentist, veterinary practitioner or licensed.

The government had banned the drug last Thursday after the Health Ministry classified it as a food supplement and not a medicine or cure. Prof. Elahi’s company manufactures and distributes the controversial anti-AIDS and Tuberculosis herb, Khomeini,

The state minister for primary health care Dr Alex Kamugisha advised all patients under the care of Prof. Elahi to receive appropriate care and treatment including ARVs from accredited health facilities under the Ministry of Health.

Elahi on his part, argued that no formal communication from the government had been received by him in this matter and therefore continued to produce and distribute the drug.

Deputy head of the Anti Narcotic Unit at the CID, Mr. Amandua along with a team of Police detectives and National Drug Authority Drug inspectors, also conducted search in the company premises. They impounded several one-liter bottles of the drugs Khomeine I,II, and III as well as its ingredients such as salt, honey and olive oil.

The chief executive officer of the inst itute, Mr Siragi Balinda, claimed that Elahi was given a work permit as a herbalist and the national technical evaluation committee of the Ministry of Health had declared his drugs "safe".

Elahi’s lawyer, Musa Kabega, has mentioned plans on securing bond for his release in exchange for a substantial Ugandan surety.


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