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 Porcupine

This operation works to disrupt networks involved in pharmaceutical crime in West Africa.

Dates: 27-29 May 2014 and 24-26 June 2014 (Nigeria)

Participating countries: Seven in total (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) as well as the INTERPOL Regional Bureaus in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Harare (Zimbabwe).


  • Approximately 156 million units (196 tons), of illegal medicines were seized, with an estimated value of approximately USD 24.5 million;
  • 102 suspects were arrested, 982 searches carried out and 738 illegal outlets closed down;
  • More than 2,200 officers and other personnel were deployed.

Video: Operation Porcupine in Africa (available in French only)

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