Interpol fights fake drugs in Asia
LIMA, Peru, Thursday (Reuters) - Fake drugs for malaria, tuberculosis
and HIV have emerged as one of the world’s major counterfeiting problems
and international police body Interpol has launched an operation in
Southeast Asia to crack down on the problem, a senior official said.
Operation Jupiter, which is being run in conjunction with the World
Health Organization and drug companies, began in seven countries in
Southeast Asia last month and should end in another three months, John
Newton, manager of Interpol’s Intellectual Property Crime Program, told
“We really see our priority should be dealing with counterfeit
pharmaceuticals which are being manufactured and distributed on an
industrialized scale,” Newton said on the sidelines of a conference of
police chiefs from the Americas.
It is the first time the 182-member police body has tackled the
problem, seen as the latest moneymaker for international organized crime
groups, and it did so “because there’s a gap.”
“Drug regulatory bodies generally don’t have any investigative
ability and ... a lot of police forces aren’t as well equipped to focus
on transnational crime. That’s the value Interpol brings to this,”
Newton said.He said the operation aimed to identify the source, or
sources, of counterfeit drugs.
“We’d like to eliminate them but the reality is that we’ll probably
disrupt it (the counterfeit drugs trade) for a period of time,” Newton