English version

French drugmaker Pierre Fabre fired its trade marketing manager in Argentina in December and filed a criminal case in Buenos Aires City. A large quantity of missing retail products has been identified and were bought illegally.

French drugmaker Pierre Fabre has begun an internal investigation in Argentina to detect the final destination of a substantial quantity of merchandise missing from its deposits. The company, which has been led by Portuguese executive Serge Bouteleau for the last five years, distributes via Globalfarm, which has yet to comment publicly on the case.

According to an investigation by Argentina’s Federal Police, led by police chief Néstor Roncaglia, merchandise was diverted with the knowledge of trade marketing manager Mariana La Valle, who was fired in December. She has since been detenida and is under investigation for her alleged role in a criminal network that, according to a statement from the national Ministry of Security obtained by Pharmabiz, secretly sold the products in various locations, Ver foto debajo.

The Federal Police led by Néstor Roncaglia simultaneously raided three pharmacies that sell dermo-cosmetic products, including a branch of the chain Vassallo, which belongs to the Méndez family.

Consulted by Pharmabiz, Pierre Fabre confirmed to the website that «on December 10 of last year, the company laid off an employee who was discovered carrying out illegal activity related to original products from our dermo-cosmetic division».

The spokesperson added that the company had then made a criminal complaint for fraud and illegal sales, the investigation of which is ongoing under the control of a criminal court in Buenos Aires City. He added that Pierre Fabre had passed all evidence to the authorities and that the company was also carrying out its own internal investigation to prevent similar episodes from happening in the future.

While the case at Pierre Fabre centers on the responsibility of one disloyal employee, questions are raised regarding the lack of internal controls since as far as Pharmabiz could ascertain the theft had been occurring for many years.

According to the statement from the Ministry of Security, close to 78,000 units are missing, which is what led to the case being monitored. It is alleged that La Valle diverted the products outside of the company to different addresses so that they could then be sold on a parallel market.

As well as the raids on three pharmacies, police raided four addresses connected with relatives of La Valle while she herself was put under arrest. See video.

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