Interpol has carried out a series of raids worldwide which has resulted in a series of arrests and “the seizure of thousands of potentially harmful medical products”.
Operation Pangea II, a week-long initiative involving 24 countries, was coordinated by Interpol and the World Health Organisation's International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce. Regulators, police and customs officials worked closely together during the crackdown from November 16-20 and focused on “the three principal components used by illegal websites to conduct trade” - the internet service provider, payment systems and the delivery services.
During the operation, internet monitoring revealed 751 websites engaged in illegal activity, including offering controlled or prescription-only drugs, 72 of which have now been taken down. More than 16,000 packages were inspected by regulators and customs, 995 of which were seized and nearly 167,000 illicit and counterfeit pills, including antibiotics, steroids and slimming pills, were confiscated.
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