Pharma Boss Gets Year Suspended Prison Sentence in Algeria Case

Crime was overcharging on raw materials for drugs.

The general manager for French drug company Sanofi's (IW 1000/92) Algerian operations was given a one-year suspended prison sentence on May 2 for overcharging for raw materials for drugs, state media said. Prosecutors had initially demanded a three-year sentence and a fine of up to twice the value of the alleged infraction, whose amount was not specified.

The case against Thierry Lefebvre began at the start of the year when Algerian customs officials filed a complaint over the alleged overcharging.

Sanofi has had a presence in Algeria for 20 years and employs more than 650 people in the north African nation.

The firm was also hit with a 20-million-euro (US$26 million) fine, state news agency APS said.

Sanofi said it complied with Algerian legislation and expressed "surprise and incomprehension" at the judgment handed down by the Algiers tribunal, saying it would immediately appeal the ruling.

Algerian Health Minister Sante Djamel Ould Abbes at the end of December accused some importers of speculating on drug prices and ripping customers off to the tune of $94 million.

Prosecutors had initially demanded a three-year sentence and a fine of up to twice the value of the alleged infraction, whose amount was not specified.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also
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Sanofi to Shut British Plant

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