Russian scientists, including a Russian doctor, were found guilty Wednesday of trying, in an attempt to smuggled cancer drugs from Russia to the U.S., to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary.
The verdicts were handed down in Prague, Czech Republic by a three-judge panel, according to The Associated Press news agency.
It was the first time that a Russian scientist or doctor was found guilty in a case involving Russian drugs, according the AP.
The court said the defendants, who had been working on cancer treatments, did not comply with regulations and lied to federal authorities about their activities.
They were also accused of failing to provide proper documentation to the federal government.
The drugs allegedly were sent by a company called TASC Pharma in Russia to Czechoslovakia, the AP reported.
Russia has a large and active market for pharmaceuticals, particularly cancer drugs.
The country’s cancer industry is worth nearly $1.2 trillion, according a 2014 report by the Russian Federation Academy of Sciences.
In its ruling, the panel said the company failed to comply with FDA and European Union rules on importing medicines, including those to treat cancer.
The panel found that the defendants did not follow regulations to make sure that they did not violate the rules on safety and the health of their employees, according TOV news agency reported.
The company, TASC, was founded in 1999 and has offices in Prague and Moscow, the agency reported, citing an unnamed source.
It was the largest Russian pharmaceutical company.
The Russian government, which is part of the U-S.
and has its own sanctions against Russia, has long accused the U,S.
of trying and passing on cancer drugs to Russia.
The Kremlin has also blamed the U for spreading false information about Russian cancer treatments to boost sales of those drugs, including Sovaldi, which has caused an outbreak in the U.’s Medicaid health insurance program.
The U.K.-based Cancer Research UK said in a statement that it welcomed the verdict, which it said was “based on solid evidence and evidence of intent.”
It called the verdict “a first step toward the end of the criminal enterprise.”