Sale of illegal medicines triples in Cyprus

The number of counterfeit and illicit medicines that were located and confiscated in Cyprus in 2018 has tripled from previous years, according to Operation PANGEA XI that was held between 9-16 October.

Police Press Spokesman Andreas told a press conference that during the week-long international operation, in which 116 countries took part, a total of 1.811 packages were examined at postal offices throughout the government-controlled areas and at Larnaca International Airport and four operations took place in Cyprus to locate counterfeit medicines.

Operation Pangea XI, is a global cooperative effort, led by Interpol, to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit medical products sold on the internet.

It is the eighth year that Cyprus participates in PANGEA.

Speaking at the press conference on the occasion of the completion of the operation, Angelides said nine packages were retained/seized for further investigation, since they contained counterfeit, illegal or unlicensed pharmaceutical medicines and noted that four people were arrested for offenses in violation of the Medicine Law.

A total of 24,436 fake medicines were seized and will be sent for analysis with their estimated value exceeding $ 72,000 dollars, he added.

During this year’s operation various types of pharmaceuticals were seized, including anabolic substances, medications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, dietary supplements containing prohibited drugs, weight loss supplements, local anesthesia drugs and medicine to regulate thyroid function.

Customs’ Department representative Christos Christou said that the role of his department is crucial in the success of the operation since the Customs Department is present at the points of entry and exit of the Republic of Cyprus.

He said the volume of goods imported daily in Cyprus makes it impossible to control everyone and urged the public to exercise caution before making any purchases on the Internet for commercial or personal use.

Source: Cyprus News Agency