Thousands of fake online pharmacies shut down

Sales of illicit prescribed drugs have risen amid the Covid-19 pandemic

A document quantity of fake online pharmacies had been shut down in May as half of a worldwide crackdown.

More than 100,000 online marketplaces providing illicit medicine had been eliminated as half of Interpol’s Operation Pangea.

In the UK, fake medicines value greater than $13m (£9.17m) had been seized as half of the efforts.

It marked the most important week for the operation since 2008, as criminals cashed in on the demand for Covid-related merchandise.

Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, primarily based in Lyon, France, facilitates worldwide co-operation between police forces and crime management.

Between 18 and 25 May, 277 arrests had been made involving 92 nations. and greater than $20m value of prescribed drugs had been seized as half of Interpol’s efforts.

Fake or unauthorised Covid-19 testing kits made up greater than half of the unlawful medical units seized worldwide.

UK authorities eliminated greater than 3,100 promoting hyperlinks for the unlawful sale and provide of unlicensed medicines as half of the operation.

Some 43 UK-based web sites had been additionally closed down.

Interpol’s Secretary General, Jurgen Stock, stated the sale of illicit medicines put the lives of “thousands” of victims in danger.

“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,” he stated.

“As the pandemic forced more people to move their lives online, criminals were quick to target these new customers.”

He added: “As crimes continue to evolve amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities must remain vigilant in dismantling criminal networks involved in the proliferation of illicit pharmaceutical products especially in online platforms.”

The international pharmaceutical trade is value greater than $1tn.

Vast provide chains stretch all the way in which from key producers in locations akin to China and India, to packaging warehouses in Europe, South America or Asia, to distributors sending medicines to each nation on the planet.

Last yr, a BBC News investigation found fake drugs for sale in Africa, with counterfeiters exploiting rising gaps out there.

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