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French woman fined, expelled from Georgia over painkillers

© Thomas Bregardis, AFP / A pharmacy at the Rennes University Hospital in western France

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-08

One of two French women arrested in Georgia for carrying a legal French prescription painkiller - Dafalgan, the French brand name for paracetamol with codeine - has been released.

Arzu Bilici, 41, was forced to pay a 2,500 euro fine and was banned from re-entering Georgia for five years.

Another French woman, who like Bilici is of Turkish origin, remains stranded in Georgia while she waits for her case to be processed.

The women, who are of Turkish origin, were arrested crossing from Turkey into Georgia when customs officers discovered the painkillers, which are easily obtainable in French pharmacies.

Dafalgan, however, is banned in Georgia which takes a hard line against any opiate-derived medication.

The French foreign ministry warns on its website that “certain prescription medicines [particularly those containing opiates such as codeine] that are available in Europe are not allowed to be taken into Georgia”.

“We strongly recommend people who are taking medication to get advice from the Georgian embassy in Paris before travelling to Georgia, to take their prescription information with them and to declare all medicines at the border,” the website continued.

Date created : 2014-08-08

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