Operation Pangea of Interpol targeted online sale of fake medicines, products
- The operation resulted in 1,13,020 web links being closed down or removed, the largest since the first “Operation Pangea” conducted in 2008, the arrest of 277 suspects and seizure of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals worth over $23 million
- Operation involved the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries
- Indian agencies also participated in the operation, said an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) that is the nodal body for the Interpol in the country.
- It was found that criminals were continuing to cash in on the huge demand for personal protection and hygiene products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It was also found that more than half of all the medical devices seized during the operation from May 18 to 25 were fake and unauthorised COVID-19 test kits.
- With this operation, around nine million medical devices and illicit pharmaceuticals were seized globally
- The seized items included hypnotic and sedative medication, erectile dysfunction pills, medical and surgical devices like COVID test kits, masks, syringes, catheters, analgesics/painkillers, anabolic steroids, antiseptics and germicides, anti-cancer medication, anti-malarials and vitamins.
- The International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
- It is headquartered in Lyon, France.
- It has seven regional bureaus worldwide and a National Central Bureau (NCB) in all 194 member states, making it the world’s largest police organization.
- India has been a member since 1956
- It originated with the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, which brought officials from 24 countries to discuss cooperation on law enforcement matters.
- It was founded in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC).
- In 1946, after the end of World War II, the organization was revived as the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) by officials from Belgium, France, Scandinavia and the UK.
- In 1956, the ICPC adopted a new constitution and the name INTERPOL.