INTERPOL: “International operation targets online sale of illicit medicines”

June 28, 2013

INTERPOL on June 27, 2013 released the following:

“INTERPOL-supported campaign also alerts public to dangers of purchasing illicit medicines online

LYON, France – Some 100 countries have taken part in a global operation seeking to disrupt the criminal networks behind the illicit sale of medicines online, resulting in 58 arrests worldwide and the seizure of 9.8 million potentially dangerous medicines worth some USD 41 million.

As the largest global Internet-based operation focusing on illicit websites selling fake or counterfeit medicines, Operation Pangea VI engaged police, customs and national regulatory authorities to target websites supplying fake and illicit medicines, and to increase awareness of the serious health risks connected to purchasing medicines online.

Operation Pangea VI was coordinated by INTERPOL, with the World Customs Organization, the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime, the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, Europol, and supported by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies and private sector companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Legitscript.

The week-long operation (18-27 June) targeted the main areas involved in the illegal online medicine trade: Internet Service Providers (ISPs), electronic payment systems and delivery services. More than 9,000 websites linked to illicit online pharmacies were identified and shut down, in addition to the suspension of payment facilities of illegitimate pharmacies and the disruption of a substantial number of spam messages.

“Transnational criminal networks are taking advantage of the Internet to deceive consumers into buying fake and often dangerous medicines with a wanton disregard for the health risks this poses to the unsuspecting buyers,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“Our partners worldwide have combined their efforts in INTERPOL’s Operation Pangea VI to fight these organized criminal networks. Together, they are protecting innocent consumers by shutting down illegitimate online pharmacies, confiscating illegal pharmaceutical products and bringing criminals to justice.

“These are significant steps forward in safeguarding the health and safety of the public, and in dealing a major blow to the criminal groups behind the counterfeiting of medical products,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

Among the fake medicines seized during Operation Pangea were antibiotics, cancer medication, anti-depression pills, food supplements and erectile dysfunction medication.

“The health and safety of global consumers is paramount and all efforts to protect them from the dangers posed by illicit medicines sold online are being vigorously pursued using the full extent of our collective intelligence and legal tools,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya.

“I am pleased that police, customs and national regulatory authorities continue to work closely together at both the international and national levels to combat this dangerous form of illicit trade, with the full support of our public and private sector partners across the globe,” he added.

“Clearly, the excellent results achieved during Operation Pangea VI demonstrates the effectiveness of combining our respective competencies to tackle crime, in particular the growing trade in online sales of illicit and often dangerous pharmaceutical products,” stressed the WCO Secretary General.

A dedicated operations centre at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as a central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies, including a mobile office deployed by Europol which conducted cross-checks in close cooperation with their liaison officer at INTERPOL. As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 522,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which 58,000 were seized.

“We can only bring an end to the illegal online supply of pharmaceutical products through collective and systematic international effort such as the Pangea operations. The dedicated and constant efforts of partners from all sectors are vital to protecting innocent consumers and ensuring that the Internet does not become a safe haven for transnational criminals,” said Aline Plançon, Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Sub-directorate.

“Ultimately, we hope that by increasing public awareness of the risks associated with illegal online pharmacies, people will take greater care the next time they turn to the Internet to purchase medicines,” added Ms Plançon.

To date, 175 investigations have been launched into a range of offenses including the illegal manufacturing, selling and supplying counterfeit or unlicensed medicines.

Investigations are ongoing, and the final results from Operation Pangea VI will be released upon their conclusion.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Crime network behind hundreds of burglaries dismantled by French police

June 11, 2012

INTERPOL on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“Operation supported by INTERPOL and Europol

An operation led by French law enforcement, and supported by INTERPOL and Europol, targeting a crime network of Georgian and Armenian nationals believed to be linked to more than 300 burglaries has resulted in the arrest of 21 individuals and the recovery of a substantial amount of gold and jewellery.

The network – structured over several levels, with burglars, team leaders and coordinated by at least one ‘thief-in-law,’ a criminal of high-ranking within the network who acts as a controller and regulator – is suspected of a series of residential and commercial thefts around Limoges, the north of France and Belgium, with the stolen goods sent to Belgium for selling on.

The investigation, led by France’s Central Office for Combating Itinerant Delinquency and the Gendarmerie of Limoges, was supported from the early stages by Europol specialists who facilitated the exchange of criminal intelligence, delivered analytical reports and supported the operation on the spot with a mobile office.

During the operational phase on June 4, INTERPOL provided onsite support assisting the identification of those arrested through on-site fingerprint scanning, provision of access to INTERPOL’s global databases and message exchange with its National Central Bureaus.

The number of arrests and seizures are provisional and likely to increase in the next few days as the operation continues.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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INTERPOL and Europol establish new communications link for secure information exchange

December 20, 2011

INTERPOL on December 20, 2011 released the following:

“A new network connection has been established between INTERPOL and Europol, enabling the secure exchange of information between the two law enforcement organizations.

The interconnection of the two organizations’ computer networks via a secure link, one of the elements of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Europol Director Rob Wainwright in October, provides a technical foundation for the further development and sharing of services in the future.

The heads of the organizations became the first individuals to exchange messages via the secure link to mark its launch today, Tuesday.

“Current operational cooperation between Europol and INTERPOL rests on a solid basis and this new secure link will undoubtedly strengthen the alliance between our two organizations. It will ensure an even more powerful response for the international law enforcement community, ultimately enhancing our capabilities, and those of our respective Member States, to tackle international crime and terrorism.” said Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.

The creation of the secure communication line between INTERPOL and Europol is the most recent in a series of initiatives aiming to enhance and streamline cooperation between the two organizations, efforts which Secretary General Noble said are essential in helping preserve European and global security.

“INTERPOL will continue to work closely with Europol to identify other areas where both organizations can bring added value to our member countries, and the creation of this secure communications link is an important step in this endeavour,” said Mr Noble.

“As law enforcement faces increasing pressures with limited budgets, we need to remain innovative in identifying ways where we can work more effectively with the resources we have in tackling all forms of crime,” added the head of INTERPOL.

Since the signing of the first cooperation agreement between INTERPOL and Europol in 2001, a wide range of joint activities have been implemented aimed at facilitating and simplifying the exchange of operational and strategic crime information, to combat a range of criminal activities including maritime piracy, counter-terrorism, cybercrime and child sexual exploitation.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Tonnes of illicit foods seized across Europe in INTERPOL-Europol led operation

December 13, 2011

INTERPOL on December 6, 2011 released the following:

“Hundreds of tonnes of fake and substandard food and drink including champagne, cheese, olive oil and coffee have been seized in an INTERPOL-Europol coordinated operation across 10 countries, effectively disrupting the organized criminal gangs behind this high profit-low risk activity which undermines legitimate business and puts the safety of consumers at risk.

Operation Opson (28 November – 4 December) resulted in the recovery of more than 13,000 bottles of substandard olive oil, 30 tonnes of fake tomato sauce, around 77,000 kg of counterfeit cheese, more than 12,000 bottles of substandard wine worth EUR 300,000, five tonnes of substandard fish and seafood, nearly 30,000 counterfeit candy bars. The sale of fake/substandard caviar via the Internet is also under investigation.

The week-long operation involved police, customs and national food regulatory bodies in addition to partners from the private sector and saw checks carried out in airports, seaports, shops and flea markets across the 10 participating countries.

Consumers buying these goods, either knowingly or unknowingly, are putting their health at risk as the counterfeit food and drink are not subject to any manufacturing quality controls and are transported or stored without proper regard to hygiene standards.

“One of the main goals of this operation was to protect the public from potentially dangerous fake and substandard food and drinks, which is a threat that most people are not even aware of,” said Simone Di Meo, Criminal Intelligence Officer with INTERPOL’s Intellectual Property Rights programme and coordinator for Operation Opson.

“Criminals will take advantage of any and every opportunity open to them, and this type of operation demonstrates the determination by law enforcement and the private sector to stop this type of criminality,” added Mr Di Meo.

Besides assisting with the planning of the operation over the last six months, Europol provided operational support by deploying teams in the port of Rotterdam to assist Dutch customs and at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.

“The high number of counterfeit and substandard food seized is worrying and it shows the need for close cooperation among law enforcement agencies to stop criminals active in this type of crime. We will now assist our cooperation partners with further investigations,” said Chris Vansteenkiste, project manager in the Intellectual Property Crime Team at Europol.

Operation Opson (meaning food in ancient Greek) had three key aims:

  • Raise awareness of the dangers posed by counterfeit and substandard foods;
  • Establish partnerships with the private sector to provide a cohesive response to this type of crime;
  • Protect consumers by seizing and destroying substandard foods and identifying the criminals behind these networks.

Investigations are continuing and the final results from Operation Opson will be released upon their conclusion.

The countries which took part are Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The Democratic Republic of Congo participated as an observer, with a view to conducting a pilot operation in Africa next year.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


United Nations urges cooperation with INTERPOL to boost fight against maritime piracy

November 28, 2011

INTERPOL on November 24, 2011 released the following:

“LYON, France – The United Nations Security Council has unanimously endorsed a resolution calling on all of its 193 member states to share information with INTERPOL as part of a comprehensive global response to maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Commending INTERPOL for creating its Global Maritime Piracy database designed to consolidate information about piracy off the coast of Somalia and help develop actionable analysis for law enforcement, UN Resolution 2020 (2011) ‘urges all States to share such information with INTERPOL for use in the database, through appropriate channels’.

UN Resolution 2020 (2011), adopted on Tuesday, recognizes the achievements made since the implementation of Resolution 1950 (2010) which called on all UN member states to work with INTERPOL and Europol to fight the criminal networks involved in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.

“This new UN Resolution is a significant development in terms of endorsing the central role of information sharing via INTERPOL to combat the criminal networks behind maritime piracy,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“It recognizes that international law enforcement provides the critical link between arrests made through military interventions and the investigation and prosecution of maritime pirates and associated criminal networks,” said the head of INTERPOL.

Collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol in information exchange and analysis of piracy-related material has already led to the identification of links between a number of cases and individuals based on DNA, fingerprint and telephone analysis.

In this respect, INTERPOL’s Acting Executive Director for Police Services, Bernd Rossbach, added: “A collective approach that pools intelligence and resources via strategic partnerships is required to fight maritime piracy. Here, INTERPOL’s global tools and collaboration with international partners such as the United Nations and Europol play a crucial role against this transnational crime problem involving organized criminals, hostages and ransoms.”

The adoption of UN Resolution 2020 (2011) came as a training course was being held in the Seychelles in the framework of INTERPOL’s European Union-sponsored project on capacity building and crime scene management best practice against maritime piracy in the Horn of Africa.

INTERPOL’s General Assembly in Hanoi (31 October – 3 November) adopted a resolution urging its 190 member countries to share information related to maritime piracy through the circulation of INTERPOL Notices and to populate INTERPOL’s databases, in particular its Global Maritime Piracy and Stolen Vessels databases.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


INTERPOL and Europol agree joint initiatives to enhance global response against transnational crime

October 13, 2011

INTERPOL on October 12, 2011 released the following:

“LYON, France – INTERPOL and Europol have extended their close collaboration against transnational organized crime after the leaders of the two international police agencies agreed on Tuesday to establish a secure communication line between both organizations and endorsed a collaborative operational action plan in key security areas.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Europol Director Rob Wainwright, the communication line will link up the secure networks of both agencies to facilitate and simplify the exchange of operational and strategic crime information, including via their respective liaison officers based at INTERPOL in Lyon and at Europol in The Hague.

During their two-day meeting at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters (11-12 October), Secretary General Noble and Director Wainwright also agreed that INTERPOL and Europol should enhance their collaborative operational efforts within their respective mandates to underpin a global response against transnational organized crime and terrorism by endorsing operational action plans of cooperation in five areas: maritime piracy, counter-terrorism, securing major international public events, cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright said: “Identifying and developing areas for future joint actions between Europol and INTERPOL is very important to us and key to providing an even more integrated service to the international police community on both sides. We are committed to developing the best possible cooperation – intensive efforts on both our sides will bring about more security to Europe and beyond, and will make a distinctive contribution to our fight against serious international crime worldwide.”

The head of Europol was also updated during his visit on INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) which will tackle 21st century crime threats such as cyber-crime. The IGCI will open in Singapore by early 2014.

INTERPOL Secretary General said that the agreement marked ‘another important step’ in strengthening the close collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol and the international fight against organized crime and terrorism.

“These new initiatives represent a natural and strong evolution in our collaboration with Europol under the leadership of Director Wainwright, and a leap forward in our common efforts against 21st century crime,” said the head of INTERPOL.

“At a time when crime threats are becoming more complex and criminals are exploiting technology as well as physical and virtual mobility, our agreement is both a natural and necessary development in our strategic collaboration. It benefits both of our organizations by maximizing our resources and advancing our efforts against the threats faced by all our member countries,” added Secretary General Noble.

Tuesday’s agreement follows a series of strategic meetings between both leaders, including a joint INTERPOL-Europol global initiative to combat the threats of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

In this respect, at an operational level the area of maritime piracy has highlighted the excellent collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol in information exchange and analysis. The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed in November 2010 a Resolution calling on all UN 192 member countries to work with INTERPOL and Europol to fight criminal networks involved in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The European Union Council also adopted in December 2010 a Decision which will see the EU’s military mission against maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia use INTERPOL’s global network and tools to fight the criminal networks behind piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

A future step in Tuesday’s agreement between INTERPOL and Europol will see the extension of law enforcement tools and services between both organizations, and the identification of proposals for future joint actions.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


INTERPOL and Europol enhance cooperation against counterfeiting to transform regional success into global action

September 28, 2011

INTERPOL on September 20, 2011 released the following:

“MADRID, Spain – The need to have a truly global response to dangers posed by counterfeit goods is the focus of the fifth International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference which opened today.

The three-day conference brings together more than 450 specialist IP crime investigators, prosecutors and experts from 52 countries representing both the public and private sectors. The event is co-hosted by INTERPOL, Europol and Spain’s Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories.

Key items on the conference agenda will include the nature and extent of transnational organized intellectual property crime, extending integrated enforcement strategies on a global level, enhancing public-private partnerships, as well as training and capacity building.

Of particular concern to delegates is how to ensure links between criminal networks and conspiracies in one country can quickly be identified and used by police and customs officials to disrupt the supply chain in other countries and regions of the world. In this respect, the conference’s operational workshop discussions will provide a platform for better and more productive cooperation on a national, regional and global level.

Spain’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Justo Tomás Zambrana Pineda, highlighted at the opening ceremony Spain’s efforts against IP crime: “The Spanish security forces have set up special units to combat this type of crime and, in recent years, have carried out a large number of operations. Last year, 3,400 crimes of this type were reported and 3,500 arrests were made. In all, items worth a total of some EUR 9.7 million were recovered.”

Describing counterfeiting as a “well organized and unrelenting criminal activity,” INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui said that “these criminals systematically manufacture and distribute counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide without any compassion regardless of the effect their actions have on the health and safety of often unknowing consumers.” Despite this, the INTERPOL President said that the international community had made significant investigative inroads into these gangs and the challenge now was to extend this success everywhere.

Michel Quillé, Deputy Director at Europol, said: “A coordinated international approach to tackling intellectual property crime is vital, as it is becoming more and more widespread and dangerous to ordinary citizens. We are increasingly identifying normal goods such as food and drink products, pharmaceuticals, machinery and tools that have been counterfeited and produced by unscrupulous organised criminal groups. Criminals who are only interested in their profit margins and have no respect for the end users, who can end up seriously harmed by the sub-standard products”.

“Whether in the public or private sectors, we all have a role to play as we continue to adapt to the shifting needs and priorities of combating IP crime in this global marketplace,” said Keith Williams, the President and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories which is sponsoring the conference and earlier this year helped launch the INTERPOL-led International IP Crime Investigators College, an online, leading-edge training resource for IP crime investigators around the world. “The combined experiences and expertise of the law enforcement gathered here in Madrid can no doubt translate into meaningful action and solution-driven initiatives that will help advance the standard for what we now consider effective IP crime enforcement.”

Notable IP crime professionals from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East will each present their perspective on investigative techniques used in their countries which have proven invaluable and could be equally applicable in other market places.

Keynote addresses will be made by a number of leaders in the field including Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister of Economic Affairs, Belgium; Giovanni Kessler, Director General, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF); Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; and Gao Feng, Deputy Director General, Economic Crime Investigation Department, Ministry of Public Security, China.”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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