22 people have been arrested in a crackdown on illegal pharmacies in Garissa and Wajir counties.
The raid was conducted by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) with the help of officers from the National Police Service.
Kahawa Tungu understands that the team has been camping in the counties for the past week.
Northeastern PPB’s inspector Ali Omar told members of the press in Garissa on Sunday that at least 48 chemist owners who got wind of the operation shut down their businesses to evade arrest.
“It is unfortunate that they resorted to closing down their facilities after word reached them that we were in town. We suspect they are operating illegally and feared inspection. They are, however, not off the hook. We marked them and have issued closure notices. They can run but cannot hide,” Dr Omar said.
Those, who were arrested in the crackdown, were taken to Garissa and Wajir police stations but later released on police bail.
The officer revealed that they will be arraigned in court on Monday.
They will be charged with operating unlicensed businesses and selling unregistered drugs.
Dr Omar warned that the pharmacy business has been infiltrated by quarks unscrupulous businesspersons who endanger the lives of unsuspecting patients.
He urged members of the public to be vigilant.
“These are the people we were determined to get rid of completely. We continue advising members of the public to use heath safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify the legality of the premises,” he said.
The board has in the past few months intensified a crackdown on pharmacies operating illegally across the country, shutting down hundreds of chemists.
In February this year, the board shut down at least 95 pharmacies in the Lower Eastern region for operating illegally.
At least 61 people were arrested and arraigned in court with multi-agency teams seizing at least 85 cartons of assorted medicines.