Police Seize Fake COVID Kits Across Dozens Of Countries

Police Seize Fake COVID Kits Across Dozens Of Countries

LYON, France, 22 July 2020:


A total of 17,000 fake COVID-19 test kits were seized during an operation coordinated by Interpol and Europol against trafficking in potentially dangerous drinks, food and medical products, the international police organization said on Wednesday.


The operation, which mobilized authorities in 77 countries between December 2019 and June 2020, also resulted in the seizure of more than 12,000 tons of goods, valued at $ 40 million, the dismantling of 19 organized crime organizations and the arrest of 407 people.


Among the seized products are dairy products contaminated with bacteria, meat from illegally killed animals and counterfeit medical products, the French-based agency detailed in a statement.


In addition to the false tests of COVID-19, police discovered disinfectants and even a shipment of mollusks in South Africa, originally from Asia, which was declared as medical protective equipment.


"While countries around the world continue their efforts to contain COVID-19, the criminal networks that distribute these potentially dangerous products show their determination to make a profit," said agency secretary general Jurgen Stock, cited in the note.


Seizures of overdue or expired food items were significantly higher than in previous operations of this type, which, according to the agency, is possibly a sign that criminals are taking advantage of the interruption of supply networks caused by confinement.


"The magnitude and variety of food and beverages seized in this operation serve to remind citizens that they must pay attention to what they buy and that it is necessary that the law enforcement agencies continue to monitor and act," added the head of Interpol. AFP