– July 25, 2013 –
Recently, the G2 Web Services team was involved in Operation Pangea VI, the annual international internet effort targeting the illegal online sale of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and the criminal organizations behind them.
Operation Pangea is coordinated by INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization (WCO), and other international government and law enforcement agencies, and is the largest internet-based action of its kind. G2 Web Services worked behind the scenes to identify websites, map merchant relationships, and confirm merchant accounts transacting on sites selling illegal pharmaceuticals.
Operation Pangea VI was primarily conducted between June 18-27, 2013, however, investigations continue. Approximately 100 countries took part in this international effort, resulting in 58 arrests worldwide, and the seizure of 9.8 million potentially dangerous medicines worth an estimated USD $41 million. 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.
Operation Pangea also seeks to provide greater patient awareness about the dangers of purchasing medicines online, including:
- Susceptibility of credit card fraud, identity theft, and malware viruses
- Serious health risks of taking medicines without proper medical advice, which can sometimes be fatal
- Possibility that medication purchased via the Internet is not genuine nor safe
In the official INTERPOL media release, Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said “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.”
Among the fake medicines seized during Operation Pangea were antibiotics, cancer medication, anti-depression pills, food supplements, and erectile dysfunction medication.