At INTERPOL, we promote concrete law enforcement actions in the field with the ultimate aim of protecting the public from sub-standard and dangerous goods.  We offer an 'interventions package' to support all stages of an investigation from gathering intelligence, planning and implementing an operation, through to legal issues for cases that are brought to court.

On-the-ground operations are run on a national and regional level in order to disrupt transnational criminal networks involved in pharmaceutical crime. Directed at both physical outlets and Internet suppliers, these are multi-agency efforts supported by key scientific partners.

Our flagship operations – Storm (Southeast Asia), Mamba (Eastern Africa) and Pangea (targeting the Internet) – continue to go from strength to strength. Successive raids on licit and illicit markets have shown improved results in terms of seizures, arrests, convictions and the closure of illicit websites.

These operations both highlight the success of multidisciplinary enforcement action and confirm the crucial need for continued intervention in this area. 

Operation Storm


Operation Storm targets counterfeit medicines in Southeast Asia, a region particularly affected by the problem.

Storm VI

Dates: September 2015

Participating countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


  • Seized quantity: more than two tonnes of falsified and illicit medicines;
  • Estimated value: USD 7 million;
  • Arrests: 87 individuals;
  • Pharmacies and markets investigated: nearly 500;
  • Websites investigated: around 100.

See the news story

Storm V

Dates:July-August 2014

Participating countries: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam


  • Seized quantity: 4,701,789 units and 3,454 kg
  • Estimated value (USD): 3,168,692
  • Number of arrests: 56
  • Prosecutions: 1
  • Investigations: 53
  • Number of searches: 716
  • Outlets closed: 1
  • Websites investigated: 29

Storm IV

Dates:May-November 2013

Participating countries:Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam


  • In total, 2,715,481 units were seized with an estimated value of USD 9,071,559;
  • 92 suspects were arrested, which resulted in at least three prosecutions;
  • Approximately 100 investigations were opened;
  • 481 searches were carried out and one outlet was closed.

Storm III

Dates:1-30 April 2010

Participating countries:Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam


  • 10,000 units and 14,780 kg of illicit pharmaceuticals were seized;
  • Four suspects arrests;
  • 11 raids carried out;
  • Three illicit outlets closed.

Storm II

Date: January 2010

Participating countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


  • 20 million pills seized, including antibiotics, anti-malarial and birth control medicines, anti-tetanus serums, Aspirin and erectile dysfunction drugs. (Of these 20 million pills, more than 12 million were counterfeit, while were nearly 8 million pills were expired, not registered or diverted medical products.)
  • More than 100 pharmacies and illicit drug outlets closed;
  • At least 33 suspects arrested.

Two training sessions were delivered in Indonesia through Operation Storm II: Yogyakarta in January 2010 and Jakarta in March 2010.

Media release (27 January 2010)

Storm I

Dates: 15 April – 15 September 2008

Participating countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam


  • 186 raids;
  • 27 arrests;
  • More than 16 million tablets seized;
  • Products seized to the value of USD 6.65 million.

Following the operational phase of Storm, a final meeting took place on 17 November 2008 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As a result, Cambodia's Ministry of Health will train a taskforce to identify and confiscate counterfeit drugs in unregistered pharmacies.

See also


09 June 2016

Online sale of fake medicines and products targeted in INTERPOL operation

14 January 2016

INTERPOL issues Red Notice against Papa Massata Diack at France's request

21 December 2015

Falsified and illicit medicines worth USD 7 million seized across Asia in INTERPOL-led operation

15 December 2015

Illicit online sale of medicines focus of INTERPOL training in Myanmar

09 November 2015

INTERPOL supporting French investigation into athletics corruption

02 November 2015

INTERPOL seminar creates network against pharmaceutical crime in Comoros

23 October 2015

Fighting pharmaceutical crime focus of INTERPOL training in Uganda

14 October 2015

Russia celebrates 25 years of INTERPOL membership

01 October 2015

INTERPOL holds first meeting on pharmaceutical crime in Middle East

18 September 2015

Illicit medicine manufacturers shut down in INTERPOL operation against pharmaceutical crime

26 June 2015

INTERPOL Storm meeting looks to enhance investigative expertise in pharmaceutical crime

18 June 2015

INTERPOL-coordinated operation strikes at organized crime with seizure of 20 million illicit medicines

27 May 2015

INTERPOL initiatives look to boost fight against pharmaceutical crime in Mauritania

19 November 2014

Dublin conference aims to set roadmap for combating pharmaceutical crime

29 October 2014

Media invitation for Global INTERPOL Conference – Ten Years of Combating Pharmaceutical Crime: Review and Prospects

25 June 2014

Kuwait requests INTERPOL Purple Notice after fake car parts used to smuggle drugs

06 June 2014

Collective effort required to turn back pharmaceutical crime says INTERPOL Chief

22 May 2014

Thousands of illicit online pharmacies shut down in the largest-ever global operation targeting fake medicines

20 February 2014

Combating pharmaceutical crime requires strong collaboration, says INTERPOL Chief

Training course develops expertise in investigating pharmaceutical crime

Operation Pangea: Aline Plançon, INTERPOL Pharmaceutical Crime unit

Operation Pangea: Kerry Mannion, US Food and Drug Administration

Operation Pangea: Junko Yamamoto, World Customs Organization