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 Mamba

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. 

Mamba III

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.

Media release (26/08/2010)

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.

Mamba II

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. 

News story (02/10/2009)

Mamba I

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. 

News story (29 October 2008)

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

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