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HomeGeneraleBay To Pay $53 Million for Selling Pill-Making Equipment That Can Make...

eBay To Pay $53 Million for Selling Pill-Making Equipment That Can Make Illegal Drugs

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Source: Ebay/X

The Justice Department announced that eBay, the digital commerce giant, has agreed to pay $59 million. Additionally, the company will enhance its security measures when selling equipment used in drug manufacturing, which can potentially be employed for the production of illegal drugs.

Equipment such as pill presses and encapsulating machines that can be used to produce counterfeit pills that are indistinguishable from legitimate prescription drugs were sold through the website, the DOJ said. The pills are sometimes laced with fentanyl, prosecutors said.

The Controlled Substances Act regulates the sale of manufacturing equipment, which mandates identity verification of buyers, record-keeping, and reporting to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Department alleged that eBay violated these regulations by selling thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines.

The settlement amount represents one of the most significant penalties ever paid under the civil enforcement provisions of the statute. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who leads the department’s Opioid Epidemic Civil Litigation Task Force, emphasized the role of counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl as a significant contributor to the deadly overdose epidemic.

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ALSO READ: The Top 5 Items To Sell on eBay

Alongside the monetary settlement, eBay has committed to strengthening its compliance program regarding pill presses, counterfeit molds, stamps, dies, and encapsulating machines.

The Justice Department investigated eBay’s sales of industrial machines capable of producing thousands of pills per hour. These machines are designed to give tablets a specific shape and imprint, mimicking legitimate prescription drugs. Another type of equipment, encapsulating machines, is used to pack powder into capsules.

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“Through its website, eBay made it easy for individuals across the country to obtain the type of dangerous machines often used to make counterfeit pills,” stated Nikola Kerest, U.S. Attorney for Vermont. “Our investigation revealed that some of these machines were even sold to individuals who were later convicted of drug-related crimes.”

Counterfeit pills have played a significant role in the fentanyl wave of the opioid epidemic. In 2022, the most recent year for available statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 73,654 people died from a fentanyl overdose in the United States. This equates to more than 200 deaths per day.

ALSO READ: Kids on Drugs: 2 in Police Custody After Gummy Bears in Fentanyl-Laced Bag Was Found on Student

“Fentanyl – pressed into fake pills that look like real prescription medications – is killing Americans. Drug traffickers buy the tools to make fake pills, like pill presses, online,” emphasized DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. She added, “eBay and other e-commerce platforms must do their part to protect the public.”

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One netizen expressed, “Did eBay sell the ingredients? If not, then what a person does with the equipment is their responsibility. Stop making everyone else the caretakers.”

Another user added, “This explains why eBay has changed its seller policy, making it the seller’s sole responsibility for what they sell and relinquishing all responsibilities from themselves.”

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