Counterfeiting of products and medicines linked to the coronavirus pandemic is increasing, Interpol warned Thursday after an operation to fight organized crime in the health sector.

Counterfeiting of products and medicines linked to the coronavirus pandemic is increasing, Interpol warned Thursday after an operation to fight organized crime in the health sector.

(.) – “The emergence of the coronavirus gives the opportunity to earn money quickly, the criminal gangs benefit from a strong demand for hygiene products and personal protection”, notes this Thursday the organization of international police cooperation Interpol in a press release. The 13th edition of its annual operation to combat the online trade in counterfeit medical products, called Pangea, was carried out in 90 countries from March 3 to 10.

It arrested 121 people and seized $ 14 million of potentially dangerous products, including counterfeit respiratory protection masks, poor-quality hydroalcoholic gels and currently unauthorized antivirals against the coronavirus such as chloroquine. Around 2,000 banners linked to the Covid-19 have been identified on the internet, mainly offering counterfeit and poor quality masks. Over 34,000 were seized, alongside “corona sprays”, “anti-coronavirus packs” and other pseudo-drugs.

With the coronavirus, watch out for scams that spread

“Once again, Operation Pangea proves that the criminal gangs will stop at nothing to make money. The illegal trade in such products during a health crisis shows that they really only have to do with the well-being of people and their lives, ”said Jürgen Stock, secretary general of Interpol, quoted in the press release.

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