The tablets were procured from a Swiss physician, known only as Doctor C., in Vevey, in canton Vaud, who had started a lucrative business selling them, according to a report by the Le Matin Dimanche daily and confirmed by attorney general Eric Cottier.
Doctor C. would buy 15 milligramme pills of Dormicum, also known by its generic name of Midazolam, at 0.88 francs ($0.9) each and resell them for a price between 8 and 40 francs via intermediaries in Geneva clubs.
Midazolam, like other sleeping drugs, are often sniffed by cocaine users because it helps them come down after a long night of partying. It is also injected by heroin addicts because it extends the effects of the shot.
However the uncontrolled consumption of this strong sleeping pill might create a severe dependence, as well as memory loss and epilepsy attacks. It can also cause death in the event of an overdose.
O.N., a Swiss citizen from Geneva, was one of the middle-men and the reckless driver who brought the speedometer of his Bentley Continental at an all-time record speed on the A1 motorway.
The second middle-man was Ahmed, a taxi driver in Geneva who has since vanished.
The case was discovered thanks to a call by drugs wholesaler Galenica in August.
Company representatives had found it strange that a single physician would order 32,000 units of the sleeping pill. Police investigators visited the doctor’s office on September 15th, and the trafficking system was uncovered, including the identity of the notorious speeding driver.
The doctor, whose medical license has since been revoked, could face up to three years in prison and will appear in front of the judge in November.
Asked by Le Matin Dimanche, the man said in his defence: “I was naive, I just wanted to do a favour. I was told the medicines would go to Saudi Arabia”.