MONTREAL – Millions of dollars of counterfeit drugs were seized in a worldwide effort to fight the online sale of unlicensed pharmaceuticals.
Canadian law enforcement like Interpol-Ottawa, the RCMP and Canada Border Services joined forces with over 200 international law enforcement agencies in more than 100 countries.
It is the largest operation targeting the international black market of illicit medicines.
“Pangaea Seven resulted in the arrest of 37 individuals and the seizure of $9 482 646 potentially life threatening medicines worldwide with an estimated value of $35.8 million US,” said Mark Mulligan of Interpol-Ottawa.
The operation took place over just one week, from May 13 to 20.
At a press conference in Montreal, an astounding array of seized drugs were on display, including 1,800 packages containing more than 135,000 fake pharmaceutical products.
The street value in Canada alone is over $600,000.
Confiscated products included everything form erectile dysfunction pills and weight loss pills to anti-cancer drugs and anti-psychotics.
These drugs represent just a small fraction of the counterfeit medications that are available in Canada.
“Fighting this type of crime requires an integrated, international effort,” said Mulligan.
Police are warning consumers to be aware of websites pretending to be Canadian pharmacies by showing a Canadian address.
Many of these companies are actually located in other countries.
Authorities are advising consumers to always buy medication at legitimate pharmacies.