In A Raid Over 116 Countries, Interpol Seizes 500 Tons Of Illicit Pharmaceuticals
500 tons of illicit pharmaceuticals available online, including fake cancer medications, counterfeit pain pills, erectile dysfunction pills, hypnotic and sedative agents, anabolic steroids, slimming pills and illegal medical syringes have been seized in coordinated police raids in 116 countries, the INTERPOL said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The International Criminal Police organization, commonly known as INTERPOL is an organization that facilitates international police coordination. It is based in the French city of Lyon and has 192 member countries.
As per the Reuters, the organization said that an operation codenamed Pangea XI led to the seizure of around $14 million worth of dangerous pharmaceuticals and 859 arrests worldwide.
Almost one million packages were inspected during the week of action which lasted from 9 to 16 October. The organization further said, “Focusing on delivery services manipulated by organized criminal networks, the operation saw 3,671 weblinks closed down, including websites, social media pages, and online marketplaces”.
Internet–particularly what is known as Dark Web–has become a major platform for the illicit drug trade in recent years. Although authorities have shut down major market sites, the crime gangs have diversified and have been successful in finding new clients.
This is the second significant drug seizure made by INTERPOL in October. INTERPOL’s Secretary General Jurgen Stock said: “The actions of the police, customs, and health regulatory agencies working together have forced the criminals operating illicit online pharmacies to change their modus operandi”.