Cyprus Shuts Down 1,300 Illegal Med Websites

Cyprus: For the 13th consecutive year, the Republic of Cyprus actively participated in Operation PANGEA XVI, held from October 3 to 10, 2023.

This global initiative, involving 89 INTERPOL Member Countries, aimed to detect and seize counterfeit medicines and medical devices circulating online.

Coordinated by INTERPOL, EUROPOL, the World Customs Organization (WCO), and other entities, the operation targeted illegal pharmaceutical products worldwide, resulting in seizures totaling over €6.5 million.

Notably, 19% of the confiscated items were psychotherapeutic preparations. Additionally, 1,300 illegal websites were identified and removed, leading to 325 ongoing investigations and 72 arrests.

In Cyprus, the PANGEA XVI operation saw collaboration among various agencies, including Pharmaceutical Services, Customs, Postal Services, Health Services, and the Police, responsible for overall coordination.

Simultaneously, joint coordinated operations, supported by search warrants, resulted in the seizure of over 5,000 products subject to various prohibitions and restrictions, aligning with Cyprus legislation.

INTERPOL Secretary General, Mr. Jürgen Stock, emphasized the global threat posed by counterfeit pharmaceuticals and the misuse of regulated medicines, underlining Operation PANGEA XVI’s success in removing harmful preparations from the market and dismantling criminal networks engaged in falsified medicines trafficking.

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