I am very pleased that someone trying to make a quick buck out of vulnerable people who are living with HIV and who are looking for a quick cure has been convicted in the Courts and will now have to pay for his crimes.

Today in the first ever prosecution of its kind for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe was sentenced to 240 hours community service and ordered to pay over £947.36 costs for selling ineffective medical devices over the internet that he claimed cured and killed HIV/AIDS.

Admare Jinga (aged 31) was charged under section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 for claiming to supply a medicine through his company Savec Health Systems Ltd.

Having previously pleaded guilty to the sale and supply of an unlicensed medicine, he was convicted of the Fraud Act offence at a trial on 11 June 2013.

The machine was a tens machine used for pain relief, transmitting an electric current to stimulate the nerves. The product contained weights and the gas that was sold alongside it was flavoured oxygen claiming that the attached tubing and vial contained nano silver when in fact it contained only water. He was selling them online for £149 with the accessories costing £29.99.

Along with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the police, the MHRA investigated the case in early 2009 and issued a warning for people to be aware of internet sites claiming to have a medical device that cures HIV/AIDS among other ailments.

The MHRA’s Director of Devices, John Wilkinson said:

“Our investigation revealed that Jinga was was purely and simply running a scam over the internet. His machine could not diagnose HIV infection or kill the virus.”

“This man is a criminal, not a healthcare professional, and all he wants to do is take money from vulnerable people.

“Cases such as this serve to highlight the dangers associated with purchasing medical devices as well as medicines over the internet.

“If anyone is concerned that they have purchased this machine then please speak to your GP or pharmacist. If people are going to use the internet to obtain a medical device, we urge them to research the company, phone the referees and testimonials, and if possible speak to real people who have purchased the product and are happy with the result.

“People should buy medical devices that have a CE mark. A CE mark means that the device meets the relevant regulatory requirements and, when used as intended, works properly and is acceptably safe. There are no known cures for HIV so any claim to this effect is illegal”.

The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe. No product is risk-free. Underpinning all our work lie robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits to patients and the public justify the risks. We keep watch over medicines and devices, and take any necessary action to protect the public promptly if there is a problem. We encourage everyone – the public and healthcare professionals as well as the industry – to tell us about any problems with a medicine or medical device, so that we can investigate and take any necessary action.