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.
The goal of Operation Mamba is to disrupt the activities of transnational organized criminals involved in the trafficking of counterfeit medical products in Eastern Africa. It also aims to raise awareness, resources, educational efforts and capacity building on the issue.
Dates: July-August 2010
Participating countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania (+ Zanzibar) and Uganda
- More than 375 premises targeted;
- Nearly 200,000 pills seized;
- At least 120 police cases opened;
- 78 cases were sent to court;
- At least 34 convictions pronounced.
The operation led to the adoption of the Declaration of Zanzibar by participating agencies and other organizations supporting the activities. This significant step will lead to enhanced partnerships, increased sharing of information, more intelligence-led operations, and greater public awareness on the dangers posed by counterfeit medical products.
Dates: August 2009
Participating countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
- More than 270 premises raided;
- 83 police cases opened;
- Prosecution of several individuals suspected of being involved in the illicit trafficking of medical products and at least 4 convictions;
- Thousands of tablets seized.
Dates: 29 September – 5 October 2008
Participating countries: Tanzania and Uganda
- 226 pharmacies, wholesalers, hospitals and market stalls inspected;
- 82 police cases opened;
- More than 100 different products seized.
Operation Pangea V
Awareness campaign 2010
The videos below highlight the risks of buying medicines online.
Susan's story - fake sleeping medication
Cheryl's story - fake weight loss pills
Chad's story - fake blood pressure pills
John's story - fake erectile dysfunction drugs