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 Giboia


A multi-country operation against pharmaceutical crime in Southern Africa.

Giboia 2015

Some 2,100 police, customs and health regulatory officers took part in the operation. Raids were conducted at markets, shops, warehouses, pharmacies, clinics and ports in more than 50 cities, as well as on transport vehicles.

Dates: 19-21 August 2015

Participating countries: seven in total (Angola, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe)


  • More than 150 tonnes of counterfeit and illicit medicines, worth approximately USD 3.5 million, were seized;
  • Three illicit manufacturing facilities were shut down;
  • Some 20 pharmacies and shops selling counterfeit or illicit and potentially harmful items were shut down;
  • Routes used by criminal networks to traffic fake pharmaceuticals throughout Southern Africa and beyond were identified;
  • Some 550 individuals were arrested.

Giboia media release (18 September 2015)

Giboia 2013

More than 900 officers took part in some 550 coordinated raids and inspections of marketplaces, pharmacies and clinics, as well as illicit care centres and outlets, in around 30 cities and border points.

Prior to the operation, systematic training and coordinated multi-sector actions were undertaken in each participating country.

Dates: 1-3 October 2013

Participating countries: five in total (Anglola, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia)


  • Almost 100 tonnes of illicit medicines were seized, including illicit and counterfeit versions of antibiotics, birth control, anti-malarial and analgesic medicines;
  • The seized illicit and counterfeit medicines, both branded and generic, are estimated to be worth approximately USD 3.5 million;
  • Diverted and expired medical products were also identified;
  • 181 suspects were arrested or placed under investigation;
  • Nine outlets unauthorized to sale medicines were closed across the five participating countries;
  • Two illegal clinics employing unqualified staff were closed in Malawi.

Giboia media release (10 October 2013)

Operation Pangea: Aline Plançon, INTERPOL Pharmaceutical Crime unit

Operation Pangea: Kerry Mannion, US Food and Drug Administration

Operation Pangea: Junko Yamamoto, World Customs Organization

Fact sheet

Our site uses cookies to ensure technical functionality, gather statistics and enable sharing on social media platforms.

Tell me more