Medicine

Black market for illegal medicines in Northern Ireland blitzed by Interpol operation

Black market for illegal medicines in Northern Ireland blitzed by Interpol operation

In the largest action of its kind, an Interpol operation targeted the illicit online sale of medicines and medical devices with 400 arrests worldwide and the seizure of more than 51 million US dollars worth of potentially unsafe medicines, Europol announced on Monday.

The agency said that it had partnered with worldwide regulatory and law enforcement agencies to target the marketing of illegal drugs online that are shipped through the postal system directly to Americans. The agency sent warning letters to companies that operate 401 websites, seized approximately 100 website domain names, and detained 500 packages entering the United States that were suspected of containing counterfeit medical products.

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Operation Pangea X was carried out by police, customs and health authorities across a record 123 countries and led to more than 400 arrests from September 12 to 19. "As part of a broader effort to target this illegal activity, in addition to the operation that we are announcing today, the FDA is also working on a comprehensive Enforcement Operations Work Plan that's focused on combating the sale of foreign unapproved drugs to USA consumers and aimed at increasing the scope of our operations related to these risks". "As part of a broader effort to target this illegal activity, in addition to the operation that we are announcing today, the FDA is also working on a comprehensive Enforcement Operations Work Plan that's focused on combating the sale of foreign unapproved drugs to USA consumers and aimed at increasing the scope of our operations related to these risks".

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A total of 20 search warrants were executed jointly by the HPRA, An Garda Síochána and Revenue's Customs Service - while 38 websites investigated were forced to either close or cease selling product into Ireland.

Almost 100 website domains were seized by the FDA, including buyhydrocodoneonline.com, canadian-pharmacy24x7.com and buyklonopin.com, while 13 warning letters were issued to 401 website operators. "However, our work to fight illegal online pharmacies is not over". The agency recently increased the numbers of inspectors to step up surveillance at the facilities.

FDA participated in a global operation to combat the sale and distribution of unapproved and illegal drugs.

In some cases criminal gangs were behind the imports, particularly involving anabolic steroids.


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