Interpol seizes 34,000 fake face masks and arrests 121 criminals amid Coronavirus outbreak

A huge takedown by the Interpol leads to more than 120 criminals being arrested for selling counterfeit items during the Covid-19

The Interpol has arrested 121 criminals in 90 countries who were selling counterfeit products during the coronavirus outbreak. The Interpol said that the Operation Pangea XIII seized around 34,000 fake surgical masks on Thursday. The outbreak has led to the people cashing in on the situation which included several fake products. The criminals took advantage of the market demand to sell unhygienic personal protection products.

During a news release, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said that the operation proved that the criminals won't stop at anything to make a profit. The team found around 2,000 links connected to counterfeit products being sold online. The takedown involved inspecting 326,000 packages which took place between March 3 and March 10.

Interpol Secretary General
Interpol Secretary General Youtube Grab/ Interpol

Law enforcement from 90 countries

The Interpol, organization that coordinates worldwide police operation, carried out an online operation to take down the illegal sale of the medical supplies and medicines. According to Fox News, law enforcement from 90 different countries took part in the efforts. The inspection led to the forces seizing substandard hand sanitizer, unauthorized antiviral medication and potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals which were worth more than $14 million.

The weblinks included websites, online market places, and social media pages. The Interpol statement said that "The seizure of more than 34,000 counterfeit and substandard masks, 'corona spray', 'coronavirus packages' or 'coronavirus medicine' reveals only the tip of the iceberg regarding this new trend in counterfeiting."

The Interpol General Secretary said that "The illicit trade in such counterfeit medical items during a public health crisis shows their total disregard for people's wellbeing or their lives."

Police have been warning about the fraudsters that have been going around online and offline. Some conmen have been going around door to door trying to exploit the public amid the Covid-19 fears. There have been active warnings in the UK because of such fraudsters.

Related topics : Coronavirus