California task force will tackle online fake drugs trade

gavel and lawbookA task force has been created by the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco, California, to combat counterfeit pharmaceuticals and money laundering on the Internet, according to a report from the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition.

Working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service, the first focus of the task force will be counterfeiting activities in the Northern Judicial District of California, but the intention is eventually to expand its focus nationwide and even overseas.

The team’s location is considered to be strategic because of the high density of Internet financial service vendors on the west coast of the USA, including iOffer, eBay and PayPal.

"Any transaction(s) through these companies technically give this group legal venue on future investigations outside of the Northern Judicial District of California, as well as abroad," commented PCSC.

Meanwhile, earlier this month a federal grand jury indicted 11 defendants for participating in the distribution of controlled medicines such as phentermine via the Internet. The indictments are the result of an investigation by the US Attorney's Office into illegal online pharmacies that began in 2005.

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