Canadian authorities seized more than 3,000 illicit health products as part of a week-long international operation.
According to Health Canada, the seizures were part of the 11th-annual Operation Pangea, a Interpol-led international operation targeting illicit online pharmaceutical networks.
Between Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, officials seized 3,120 packages of the 3,586 they intercepted at the border because they contained counterfeit or unlicensed health products, including illegal prescriptions drugs. Police say that the street value of the seized drugs is around $1.4 million.
The products confiscated include illicit erectile dysfunction medication, gastrointestinal and prostate support products. More than half of the products seized were fake sexual enhancement products.
|Some of the illicit pharmaceuticals seized as part of Operation Pangea. (Interpol)|
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gilles Michaud said that the annual operation was “an opportunity to inform the public about the risks and dangers of purchasing medicines online.”
Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said that although more packages than usual were seized this year, they contained less illicit product.
“Criminals are now shipping packages containing smaller numbers of pills and tablets to try and avoid the more stringent checks which have become routine in many countries as a result of the Pangea operations,” said Stock.
“However, this year’s results again show the successes achieved globally in stopping potentially lethal products from reaching unsuspecting customers.”
Globally, authorities arrested 859 people, seized $18 million in dangerous pharmaceuticals and shut down 3,671 websites, social media pages and online marketplaces.