Africa and the Middle East : 20 million illicit pharmaceutical items taken off the market during Interpol’s Middle East and North Africa operation

The products seized during Interpol’s Operation Qanoon include painkillers, corticosteroids, anesthetics, face masks, gloves, glasses and thermometers. Nearly 20 million illicit pharmaceutical items have been taken off the market since February in the Middle East and North Africa. “The outbreak of the coronavirus disease has offered an opportunity for fast cash, as criminals take advantage of the high market demand for personal protection and hygiene products”, said an Interpol spokesperson. Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia carried out seizures at ports, airports, warehouses, free trade zones, pharmacies and other points of sale. Authorities in Iraq reported that more than 760,000 boxes of medicines with an estimated value of nearly $2 million were found in seven shipping containers. In Kuwait almost 10 million pills, mainly Tramadol (an opioid painkiller), were uncovered.

Source : www.interpol.int

Irlande : Suspected fake Diazepam in Ireland and the UK

Over the last month there has been a surge in cases of adverse reactions to 10mg Diazepam tablets found in fake Actavis packets within the UK and Ireland. Although not reported by the authorities, numerous online communities have warned about the effects of these tablets which many believe to be ‘safer’ due to their packaging. Users reported strong sedation, loss of consciousness, memory loss and delusions of sobriety leading to compulsive re-dosing. The users who reported these effects claimed they were Benzodiazepine tolerant which spells danger for the casual user.

Source : www.greentimes.ie