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 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


Operation Pangea V

Awareness campaign

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