Pharmaceutical crime operations

Our field operations target the sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and medical products.

Operation Pangea

Infographics_COVID19_Pangea XIV

A global operation, Pangea targets the online sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and medical devices. Participating agencies carry out coordinated operational activities against illegal websites during the same week in order to identify the criminal networks behind the trafficking.

The main aims are to remove illicit pharmaceutical products from circulation and raise awareness of the risks associated with buying medicines online.

Fake and unauthorized COVID-19 testing kits accounted for more than half of all medical devices seized and a record number of unregulated websites shut down In Operation Pangea XIV (conducted in May 2021).

2021 results

Seizures: 9 million units
Value: USD 23 million
Websites taken offline:  More than 113,000

Pharmaceutical crime operations

Operation Rainfall

Operation Rainfall disrupts the trafficking in pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Asia.

Seven countries took part in the operation in 2018: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam.

2018 results

Seizures: 295,000 units
Estimated value: USD 122,400
Suspects identified: 15


Qanoon is a multi-year initiative targeting illicit medicines and medical products in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The initiative collects and shares information in order to identify transnational issues, support investigations and dismantle criminal networks.

It also works to create a pool of experts (police services, health, customs agencies, judiciary and the private sector) to support sustainable cooperation and actions.

The countries participating in the initiative are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.

2018 results

Seizures: 1.4 million units
Estimated value: USD 1.5 million
Suspects identified: 39


Heera is a regional initiative that targets the trafficking of pharmaceutical products in West Africa.

The countries involved are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

2018 results

Seizures: 95,800 units
Estimated value: USD 3.8 million
Suspects identified: 41