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Operation “Pangea VIII”. EU against counterfeit medicines.

The Hague: – “Our” European security agency Europol has provided its support to an Interpol operation aimed at dismantling a criminal network involved in the trafficking of counterfeit drugs, through online illegal pharmacies.
“Pangea VIII” is the name of the operation, which ended with the arrest of 156 suspects worldwide, and with the seizure of potentially harmful medicines, worth a total of $ 81 million.
The whole operation involved 115 countries and provided impetus to 429 different criminal cases. 550 were the ads for online sales network and well-removed from the 2,414 sites blacked out.
For the occasion, the European Agency – since its foundation involved in the security of the continent on the strategic plan, and even at the operational one – has seconded its experts at the Interpol HQ in Lyon, France.
Specifically, Interpol specialists and representatives of Europol have shared all the data in their possession, including those from the database held by the Haguean agency, finding numerous matches, useful for investigations.  They also provided valuable legal support to the BKA, the Austrian Federal Police, as well as the Customs Agency and the Health of that country beyond the Alps.

In addition to the discovery of a huge warehouse of counterfeit drugs in Indonesia, the various police forces involved focused on the e-mail accounts, on the domains registerers and on all those involved in delivering of goods and in electronic payments.
Among the drugs seized, they stood out  – obviously – those for erectile dysfunctions, for blood pressure and certain anticancer drugs. Many drugs were expired, or badly preserved and one of the tasks of the organization was right to alter the dates of maturity or the amount of active ingredient present in the contents.

236 was the number of involved police forces and agencies, and of course many of them were European ones.

To be noted is the fundamental and substantial support provided by some private companies and e-commerce giants such as Google, Mastercard, American Express and PayPal.
Another hit scored by the international police cooperation. Even and especially European.

Domenico Martinelli
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