Operation PANGEA, an international initiative targetting the illegal internet trade in pharmaceutical products, resulted in the seizure of 462 items in the form of pills, sprays, and gels, along with 123 food supplements in Cyprus.
The operation in Cyprus was carried out with the participation of the Cyprus Police, which was also responsible for coordinating the entire operation, the Pharmaceutical Services, the Customs Department, the Postal Services Department, the Health Services Department, the Medical Technological Equipment Unit, the Service of Industry and Technology, the State Chemistry and Veterinary Services.
During the operation in Cyprus, 462 pharmaceutical preparations in the form of pills, sprays and gels and 123 food supplement preparations that did not have an import and circulation license for sale in the Republic were seized and various packages were checked at the parcel sorting points.
Moreover, 4 websites were identified offering illegal pharmaceutical preparations for online sale and were consequently reported to the authorities.
Additionally, during the investigations carried out, duty-free items of tobacco products, 810 ampoules of nitrogen dioxide (laughing gas) and electronic cigarettes that did not have sufficient labeling were located and confiscated.
Authorities are calling on citizens to be extra vigilant when buying drugs online or without a doctor’s prescription because of certain risks to their health.
The PANGEA operation was conducted for the 15th consecutive year worldwide with the cooperation of Interpol, Europol, UN, World Customs Organization, etc.
A total of 94 countries participated and 3 million illicit drugs were seized worldwide. Their worth is estimated at 10 million euros. More than 4,000 advertising sites were shut down, 3,000 parcels were checked in 280 spots and authorities began investigation for 600 cases in addition to 200 check warrants.
Operation Pangea has been combating the global trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals marketed and sold online. Pangea also aims to raise public awareness of the risks associated with buying medicines from unregulated websites.