A BUSINESSMAN who supplied medicine over the internet illegally has been ordered to pay back £705,000 to the public purse.

Vimal Chavda, 31, of Clifton Avenue, Wembley, who ran an online pharmacy, was made subject of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act yesterday at Harrow Crown Court.

Financial investigator Paul Hart said: “The size of the order made reflects the fact that Mr Chavda had been running a very lucrative illegal business for a number of years, supplying people with drugs that, for good reason, they would not have obtained otherwise.

"The strong legislation, designed to recover the proceeds of crime, has been effectively applied and hopefully this case will discourage others.”

Chavda ran his online pharmacy supplying both controlled and prescription only drugs to order for the benefit of customers throughout the world.

The proceeds of these sales were then laundered through his and his wife’s bank accounts and used to purchase property.

The Financial Investigation Unit at Brent Police, joined forces with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in November 2011 to arrest Chavda.

Drugs to the value of £160,000 were recovered from his home and self storage.

He admitted 14 charges of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs and two of money laundering on March 15 2013 and was sentenced on April 19 2013 to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Harrow Crown Court.

He was ordered to complete 200 hours' unpaid work and nine months' probation.

Danny Lee-Frost, head of operations at the MHRA, said: “This case demonstrates the joint working between the MHRA and the Metropolitan Police and sends a clear message to criminals engaged in the illegal internet supply of medicines that we will use all powers at our disposal to protect public health and we will take away your profits from crime."

Chavda has to pay £705, 612.14p within six months or face a four years' imprisonment.