Recently, more than 1.10 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down under Operation Pangea XIV of INTERPOL.
Operation Pangea XIV
- It was coordinated by Interpol along with Central Bureau of Investigation that is the nodal body for the Interpol in the country.
- It is supported by the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/World Customs Organization’s Container Control Programme and Europol.
- It was launched against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.
- It involved the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries.
- It resulted in 1.13 lakh web links being closed down or removed which is the largest since the first “Operation Pangea” conducted in 2008.
- It showed that criminals are continuing to cash in on the demand for personal protection and hygiene products generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Need of Operation Pangea XIV
- The fake and unauthorized COVID-19 testing kits accounted for more than half of all medical devices seized during the week of action.
- In Italy, authorities recovered more than 500,000 fake surgical masks as well as 35 industrial machines used for production and packaging.
- The criminals were quick to target the new customers as the pandemic forced more people to move their lives online.
- The online sale of illicit medicines continues to pose a threat to public safety, which is why operations such as Pangea remain vital in combating this global health scourge.
Back to Basics
About Operation Pangea
- It is a global operation which targets the online sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and medical device.
- The participating agencies carry out coordinated operational activities against illegal websites in order to identify the criminal networks behind the trafficking.
- The main aims are to remove illicit pharmaceutical products from circulation and raise awareness of the risks associated with buying medicines from unregulated websites.
- It has removed more than 105 million units (pills, ampoules, sachets, bottles and so on) from circulation and made more than 3,000 arrests since its launch in 2008.
Other Pharmaceutical Crime Operations
- It disrupts the trafficking in pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Asia.
- Seven countries took part in the operation in 2018 i.e. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam.
- It is a multi-year initiative targeting illicit medicines and medical products in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
- It collects and shares information in order to identify transnational issues, support investigations and dismantle criminal networks.
- The countries participating in the initiative are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.
- It is a regional initiative that targets the trafficking of pharmaceutical products in West Africa.
- The countries involved are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.
Social Justice Current Affairs : Click Here