Europe : Europol reports hauls of almost 36 million doses of fake medicines and 165 arrests in 12 European countries

The operation was led primarily by the French National Gendarmerie and Finnish Customs. It was supported by Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and other national law enforcement bodies. Europol has reported that 12 criminal groups were disrupted and €1.5m assets recovered.
The seized fake medicines included pseudoephedrine, antihistamines, anxiolytics, hormone and metabolic regulators, narcotics, painkillers, antiestrogens, hypnotics, and doping substances. The products were sold online and offline. Europol’s statement refers to “worrying trends” of medicine trafficking in the EU market. The products are manufactured and packaged in underground laboratories, often in the EU. A total of 165 suspects were arrested in Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

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