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Operation Pangea XIV

Operation Pangea XIV

Context:

  • More than 1.10 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down in an operation against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.

See the source image

Key Details:

  • The operation involved the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries.

  • Coordinated by: Code-named “Operation Pangea XIV”, the exercise was coordinated by Interpol.

  • Indian agencies CBI also participated in the operation.

  • The operation resulted in 1,13,020 web links being closed down or removed, the largest since the first “Operation Pangea” conducted in 2008.

  • Outcome: Arrest of 277 suspects and seizure of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals worth over $23 million.

  • COVID-19 pandemic: It showed that criminals were continuing to cash in on the huge demand for personal protection and hygiene products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations in different Countries:

  • United Kingdom: Apart from the seizure of some three million fake medicines and devices worth over $13 million, the authorities removed more than 3,100 advertising links for the illegal sale and supply of unlicensed medicines, and shut down 43 websites.

  • Venezuela: A person in Venezuela was arrested for developing an e-commerce platform on WhatsApp to sell illicit medicines.

  • Italy: In Italy, authorities recovered more than 500,000 fake surgical masks as well as 35 industrial machines used for production and packaging.

  • “As the pandemic forced more people to move their lives online, criminals were quick to target these new ‘customers’.

Source: The Hindu