Every year, Interpol conducts an international police operation code-named Pangea, whose purpose is to identify and suppress the facts of the illegal sale of medicines with the use of the Internet. Pangea was held in 2008 for the first time. Nine countries participated in it. Now most of the countries are its participants.
The need for regular conducting Pangea operation is caused by a constant increase in the number of crimes connected with the spread of medicines on Internet sites, since it is the world’s computer network that has become the biggest channel for the spread of counterfeit medicines. Many online drugstores offer low prices for medicaments (for instance, they may offer $2 Viagra cost per one pill, while genuine version of this drug costs about 50 dollars in the US and around 20 dollars in Canada).
Since the distribution of counterfeit medicines by the Internet is a great public danger, an information campaign is conducted within the framework of this operation. This campaign is aimed at warning the public of possible health risks in case of the purchasing medicines online.
Main features of Pangea 2013
As a result of the June 2013 international police operation code-named
Pangea VI, 9610 Internet sites were inspected. About 10 million potentially dangerous medicines worth more than 41 million US dollars were seized from illegal distribution. In addition, more than 522 thousand postal items were inspected, as a result of which more than 58 000 packages of counterfeit medicines were found and seized. 58 persons who acted illegally were detained.
Main features of Pangea 2014
About 200 law enforcement agencies from 111 countries participated in Operation Pangea-VII. From May 13 to May 20, 237 people were arrested, 1235 cases were initiated, more than 10 600 websites and three clandestine laboratories in Colombia were closed, more than 19 000 advertising pages of spammers promoting the services of unlicensed online pharmacies (including “Viagra free trial” pages) in social networks were deleted. In the cause of the police campaigns, 9.4 million potentially dangerous drugs, the total value of which was about $36 million, were also seized.
Main features of Pangea 2015
The Pangea VIII operation involved law enforcement and other competent authorities from 115 countries. The results are the following: 156 people were arrested, 20.7 million potentially dangerous medicines worth over $8 million were seized, 429 criminal proceedings were started, 2414 websites were blocked.
Main features of Pangea 2016
Pangea IX were held from May 30 to June 7, 2016. Its target was to illicit online sales of medicines and medical products. 193 police officers, customs and health authorities from 103 countries were involved. The campaign resulted in 393 arrests worldwide and seizures of potentially dangerous drugs worth more than $53 million. In addition, the work of 4932 websites that were engaged in the illegal sale of medicines and medical products was stopped.
Among the 12.2 million counterfeit and illegal drugs seized during the Pangea IX operation, there were diet pills, drugs against cancer, various test kits, antimalarial drugs, cholesterol lowering drugs, drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (such as Viagra online Canadian pharmacy), anti-hair loss meds, and even food products.