French Women Arrested For Paracetamol Possession
August 7, 2014 – French Women Arrested For Paracetamol Possession
The paracetamol we get freely here at Pharmacies in Nigeria is a banned substance in Europe.
2 French women have been held in Georgia after they were found with Dafalgan (the French brand name for paracetamol) containing codeine, a painkiller readily available in French pharmacies on prescription.
Also known as co-codamol, the pills are available in other countries including the UK without a doctor’s note, but they are banned in Georgia which takes a hard line against any opiate-derived medication.
One of the two women, Arzu Bilici, from Strasbourg in eastern France, told France Info radio on Wednesday that she was holidaying in Turkey when she decided to take a day trip to neighbouring Georgia.
She explained that customs officers found her pills, which she uses for headaches, and she and another unnamed woman were arrested for possession of a banned substance.
Bilici was told she was being fined 2,500 euros and was ordered to remain in Georgia until a court confirmed the penalty. She and the other woman have been stranded there for more than a week.
She explained to France Info that the French embassy in Georgia’s capital Tiblisi had told her: “We can’t do anything for you. Count yourself lucky you are not in jail.”
According to France Info, the woman was living in her car which was parked outside the Tiblisi courtroom.
Following the story, Reuters contacted a French foreign ministry spokesman who said that all possible consular assistance was being given to the women.
“We hope the court process will conclude as soon as possible,” the spokesman said, adding that the ministry’s website warns citizens that certain prescription medicines are banned in some countries, including Georgia.