Pan-European operation against trafficking of illegal medical products nets €7.9 million

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Europol supported a pan-European operation targeting the illicit online and offline trafficking of misused and counterfeit medicines.

The operation, led by the French National Gendarmerie (Central Office against Environmental and Public Health Crime – OCLAESP) and the Finnish Customs (Tulli), involved law enforcement authorities from 11 EU Member States (Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The operation was also supported by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Eurojust and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).


The operation was carried out between July and October 2019 but news of the operation was issued over the weekend by Europol.

The operation in numbers:

  • 12 organised criminal groups disrupted;
  • 165 suspects arrested in Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom;
  • Nearly €1.5 million of assets recovered;
  • Around €7.9 million seized;
  • Nearly 36 million units of medicines seized (among which pseudoephedrine, anti-cancer drugs, antihistamines, anxiolytics, erectile dysfunction medicines, hormone and metabolic regulators, narcotics, painkillers, antioestrogens, antivirals, hypnotics, and doping substances).

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