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Global operation shuts down medical fraudsters

Wednesday June 9th 2021

More than 3,000 illegal medical web pages in the UK have been shut down or blocked yesterday as part of a global operation against criminals exploiting the pandemic for profit, it has been announced.

The huge Operation Pangea operation was overshadowed yesterday by the spectacular FBI-led sting which led to a global assault on organised crime.

In the UK, Pangea, undertaken at the end of last month, led to seven arrests and the seizure of more than three million medicines and medical devices worth more than £9 million, it was announced.

Globally half the medical devices were fake or unauthorised COVID-19 testing kits while in Italy investigators seized more than 500,000 fake surgical masks, Interpol said.

Overall nine million items were seized in 92 countries, including Venezuela and the Philippines. Some 113,000 web links were blocked or shut down globally.

Interpol general secretary Jürgen Stock said: “As the pandemic forced more people to move their lives online, criminals were quick to target these new customers.

“Whilst some individuals were knowingly buying illicit medicines, many thousands of victims were unwittingly putting their health and potentially their lives at risk.

“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.”

Tags: Pharmaceuticals | South America | UK News | World Health

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