201811.06

Pangea XI: 859 arrests

Interpol has once again coordinated a Pangea operation (Pangea XI) to destabilize the networks involved in counterfeit pharmaceutical and medical products. Interpol closely collaborated with institutions and companies deeply involved, willingly or not, in the fight against counterfeiting:
Police, customs and health authorities from 116 countries targeted the illicit online sale of medicines and medical products. In a few figures, the operation led to the following:
  • the arrest of 859 individuals worldwide;
  • the seizure of potentially dangerous pharmaceutical products for $ 14 million;
  • the closure of 3,671 sites and pages on social networks and marketplaces;
  • the seizure of 500 tonnes of illicit pharmaceuticals (anti-inflammatories, analgesics, erectile dysfunction pills, hypnotics, sedatives, anabolic steroids, slimming pills, or drugs to treat HIV, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes); and
  • the seizure of 110,000 medical devices (syringes, contact lenses, hearing aids, surgical instruments).
The methods of the counterfeiters evolve. According to Mr. Stock, Interpol’s General Secretary, counterfeiters are changing their delivery methods: “Criminals are now shipping packages containing smaller numbers of pills and tablets to try and avoid the more stringent checks which have become routine in many countries as a result of the Pangea operations. However, this year’s results again show the successes achieved globally in stopping potentially lethal products from reaching unsuspecting customers“.

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