Thousands of fake medical masks and medicines seized in the Middle East

Amid a global surge in supplies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of fake medical masks and medicines were seized during an Interpol operation in the Middle East and North Africa, OCCRP reports.

Between February and April, the authorities of Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia conducted inspections at their land, water and air borders to identify pharmaceutical-related crimes.

This led to the seizure of 61,000 respiratory masks, 63,418 face masks, and 85,000 other medical devices such as gloves, thermometers, and medical glasses, in addition to various illegal medications, from anti-malarial medications to sexual stimulants.

Interpol estimated the value of the seized goods at us $ 14 million.

“The volume of illegal drugs and counterfeit medical goods seized during this operation is a reminder of the scale of this global problem and a very real threat to public safety,” said Paul Interfield, Interpol’s Director of Organized and emerging crime.

The Agency said authorities also seized large quantities of drugs known to Finance terrorist activities, such as the opioid painkiller Tramadol and Captagon tablets, a type of amphetamine that is reportedly produced by ISIS and used by its fighters.

Previously reported that 4 officials from Uganda arrested for overcharging food aid for Covid-19. They accused of fraud in connection with the purchase of emergency food aid to people affected by the blocking of Covid-19, were sent to the anti-Corruption court for trial.