Pangea IX seizes $53m-worth of fake medicines

The latest Pangea enforcement operation against the online trade in fake medicines has resulted in nearly 400 arrests worldwide.

The $53m haul included counterfeit cancer medication, substandard HIV and diabetes diagnostic kits, and fake dental and surgical equipment, according to Interpol, which coordinated the operation.

As with previous operations enforcement agencies targeted rogue websites selling the illicit goods - taking down nearly 5,000 sites and uncovering vital information about the rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services that fuel the trade.

Agencies from a record 103 countries took part in the operation, which has resulted in 700 criminal investigations by national enforcement authorities and at least 40 cases linked to organized criminal networks. It ran from May 31 to June 7.

All told, a third of a million packages were inspected and 170,000 were seized, taking more than 12m illicit healthcare products out of circulation, including slimming pills, anti-malarial and cholesterol medication, erectile dysfunction pills, hair loss treatments and nutritional products. More than 270,000 medical devices worth an estimated $1.1m were also recovered.

DNP targeted

A key element of the latest operation was to disrupt the trade in DNP (2.4-dinitrophenol) an unapproved drug - often mis-used as a weight-loss product - that has been linked to fatalities in the US and UK and a serious hospitalization case in France. DNP is most often used as a dye, wood preserver, and herbicide.

A US FDA operation took down 110 websites offering DNP for sale. Last month Adam Alden, the man who sold the DNP that claimed the life of a Rhode Island man in 2013 - pleaded guilty to one count of introducing an unapproved drug into interstate commerce.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top