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01 October 2015

INTERPOL holds first meeting on pharmaceutical crime in Middle East

AMMAN, Jordan – INTERPOL has held its first working meeting on pharmaceutical crime for the Middle East and North Africa to build a strong network for combating this type of crime across the region.

Around 30 participants from police, customs and health regulatory authorities from nine countries – Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates – came together to share regional trends and discuss the challenges posed by the transnational criminal networks involved in pharmaceutical crime.

During the two-day (8 and 9 September) meeting, the participants underscored the necessity of robust national legislation against pharmaceutical crime, the importance of setting up specialized units or task forces, and the development of a global contact point network to facilitate international multiagency cooperation.

To assist member countries in tackling pharmaceutical crime in the Middle East and North Africa, participants at the meeting backed the creation of a dedicated INTERPOL working group to focus on the challenges faced by countries across the region.

Highlighting the importance of international collaboration, the meeting was also attended by representatives from the Arab Bureau For Narcotics Affairs of Arab Interior Minister’s Council, the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office of the World Customs Organization in the Middle East, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK, and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.