17 000 fake test kits for coronavirus have been seized in a large-scale international anti-fraud involving trafficking of drinks, food, and medical products potentially dangerous, announced on Wednesday that the Interpol.
The operation, coordinated by Interpol and Europol, between December 2019 and June 2020 in 77 countries, has in total led to the seizure of over 12 000 tonnes of goods with a value of $ 40 million.
19 criminal organizations have been dismantled, and 407 people arrested, indicates the agency of international police co-operation based in Lyon, France.
In addition to fake tests for the COVID-19, contaminated dairy products, meat from animals illegally slaughtered and counterfeit medical products are among the captured.
In Bulgaria, the operation, for example, has led to the discovery, in a warehouse underground, of cheese containing the bacteria Escherichia Coli (E. Coli). During operations in Jordan, 6500 litres of energy drinks and sodas out of date and more than 7 tons of milk and cheese, spoiled have also been seized.
In South Africa, with a cargo from Asia, supposed to contain material for medical coverage concealed in the reality of the fruits of the sea, details of Interpol.
“At a time when everywhere in the world there is an effort to contain the COVID-19, the fact that the criminal networks distributing these potentially dangerous products demonstrates their determination to make a profit,” says the Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock.
Alcohol smuggling has constituted the largest share of seizures, for more than 20 million dollars, including 5000 litres of vodka discovered in a caravan in Norway.
This operation, called “Opson” and reproduced each year for the last 9 years has also helped to prevent the trade of other goods adulterated or counterfeited, such as cosmetics, clothing, tobacco, clothing and footwear, as well as electronic products with a total value of $ 3.1 million.