Global Police Close Record Number of Fake Pharma Sites
Over 110,000 fake websites and online marketplaces advertising fraudulent pharmaceuticals have been shut down as part of an international crackdown on fake pharma sites, according to the global policing organization Interpol. Interpol states that the operation, deemed Operation Pangea XIV, involved customs, law enforcement, and regulatory officers from 92 different countries. The site takedown represents the largest number since the operation began in 2008. During the operation, counterfeit medicines and Covid-19 testing kits were also seized after raids and checks on packages deemed suspicious.
In the UK, the authorities shut down 43 websites and removed 3100 ad links. Interpol members also seized three million fake medicines and devices totaling over $13 million. In Qatar, Interpol authorities allegedly found 2,805 painkillers secretly stashed in tins of baked beans. During the operation, which took place over the course of a week, 277 arrests were made worldwide and potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals worth more than $23 million were seized.