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25 June 2014

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

LYON, France – The discovery of 20,000 illicit tablets hidden inside fake car parts has led to the issue of an INTERPOL Purple Notice at the request of Kuwait.

The Tramadol tablets, which are illegal in Kuwait, were found during an investigation by the General Directorate for Combating Drugs when officers became suspicious of a parcel sent to an Egyptian national in Kuwait.

The man was arrested and further enquiries led to the arrest of six other people who admitted to previously using the same smuggling method to bring illicit drugs into the country, with the counterfeit vehicle parts produced at a workshop in Egypt.

An INTERPOL Liaison Team (ILT) comprising specialist officers from the Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting (TIGC), Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime (MPCPC), Drugs and Organized Crime and the Middle East and North Africa units was deployed to Kuwait to provide on the ground support to the national investigation.

“We appreciate INTERPOL’s important role in assisting combating organized criminal networks and raising the public awareness,” said Chief of Kuwait Police, Lieutenant General Souliman Al Fahed.

“Kuwait police will continue to provide and share its experience with the international police community to better protect the young generation and national citizens from the effects of organized crime.”

The names, photographs and fingerprints of all seven arrested individuals were compared against INTERPOL’s databases, and the Purple Notice detailing the concealment method circulated to all 190 member countries.

Purple Notices are used to seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

“This combination of drug smuggling and counterfeit goods again shows the often unseen links between different types of crime, and that criminals will use any opportunity to make a profit,” said Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services.

“With the deployment of the ILT followed by the publication of the Purple Notice, Kuwait authorities are clearly showing their commitment to international police cooperation and to ensuring the safety and security of their citizens,” added Mr Louboutin.

Raising public awareness of the often hidden links between crimes is a key aspect of INTERPOL’s Turn Back Crime campaign. With counterfeit car and motorbike parts posing a threat to the safety of consumers, the Turn Back Crime campaign highlights the need to work across sectors in response to these issues.