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Training course develops expertise in investigating pharmaceutical crime

27 April 2012

N26042012

SINGAPORE – Enhancing the capabilities of police, customs and health regulatory officials in investigating pharmaceutical crime was the focus of the first ‘train the trainer’ session under the umbrella of the Storm Enforcement Network.

The five-day course (23 – 27 April) is co-organized by INTERPOL’s Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime (MPCPC) Unit, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore and the Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medical Products (IRACM) with the support of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office.

In addition to being taught how to effectively detect and investigate pharmaceutical crime, the 24 participants from nine countries - Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore - took part in exercises based on pharmaceutical crime scenarios, and also visited scientific facilities and laboratories.

“Trafficking in illegal medicines has become such a lucrative trade that transnational syndicates are able to devise a whole range of ways and means to enable their illegal activities.  It is only through close collaborative efforts to share timely intelligence and operational know-how that enforcement and regulatory agencies in different jurisdictions will be better positioned to stem this growing threat,” said Associate Professor John Lim CEO of HSA Singapore.

Aline Plançon, Head of INTERPOL’s Medical Counterfeit and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit said the session, the first in a series of joint training programmes, was an important step forward in the development of the Storm Enforcement Network.

In June 2011, INTERPOL and HSA Singapore signed a cooperation agreement to provide investigation and testing training and to develop activities to facilitate enhanced and cutting-edge training activities on the prevention and suppression of fake and illicit medical products.