435 people arrested after trafficked medicines worth €168m seized across Europe

435 people arrested after trafficked medicines worth €168m seized across Europe

435 people have been arrested as part of a Europol-coordinated operation which seized medicines worth €168m.

The crackdown by police, customs and health regulatory authorities took place across 16 countries, including Ireland.

The items seized were worth in the region of €168m, and included 13 million units and 1.8 tonnes of medicines.

24 organised crime groups were disrupted, and criminal assets worth €3.2m were recovered.

A garda spokesperson said they were looking into the extent of these arrests had occurred in Ireland.

The operation targeting the illegal trafficking of misused medicines took place over seven months from April to October last year.

The details of the actions were not released until today due to operational reasons.

An initial nine participating EU Member States (Ireland, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Spain and the UK) were joined by seven new countries this year (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia and Ukraine).

The MISMED 2 was led by the French Gendarmerie Nationale (National Gendarmerie) and the Finnish Tulli (Customs), with support from Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coalition (IPC3).

Europol's investigations show that the type of medicines trafficked across Europe includes opioids but also products used for treating major illnesses such as cancer and heart conditions.

Performance and image enhancing drugs were also found.

The number of falsified or counterfeit products being trafficked is also increasing, with these accounting for over half of the 13 million units seized in the MISMED 2 operation.

More on this topic

Man, 30s, arrested in relation to serious assault of woman in ArklowMan, 30s, arrested in relation to serious assault of woman in Arklow

Man arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbingMan arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbing

Man due in court charged with Cork shop robberyMan due in court charged with Cork shop robbery

Three arrested in connection with Lucan murderThree arrested in connection with Lucan murder


More in this Section

Fianna Fáil leader does not intend to bring back deputies involved in vote-gate controversyFianna Fáil leader does not intend to bring back deputies involved in vote-gate controversy

Kilkenny crash leaves woman in critical condition in hospitalKilkenny crash leaves woman in critical condition in hospital

'I don’t give a s**t,' says motorist in video of cyclist challenging them about parking in Limerick cycle lane'I don’t give a s**t,' says motorist in video of cyclist challenging them about parking in Limerick cycle lane

Viable explosive found in NI gardenViable explosive found in NI garden


Lifestyle

Last week, en route to La Gomera in the Canary Islands, I decide to stop off in Tenerife and take the 1.2km cable car ride to the top of Mount Teide, 3,660m above sea level. Cable cars are invariably an exciting way to travel.Dursey Island is a special place because of its remoteness

It can be considered offensive by some but generally the word ‘tinker’ is not considered rude says the Traveller’s advocacy group Pavee Point. Over time the term became synonymous with ‘Traveller’ and it is this which is current today.The Islands of Ireland: Tinkering with the past on Tinker’s Island in West Cork

Dr Naomi Lavelle explores some questions about walking upside-downAppliance of Science: Could humans copy insects' ability to walk upside-down?

Emer Corridan is the general manager at the award-winning four-star, Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry.You've Been Served: Emer Corridan, general manager at Cahernane House, Killarney

More From The Irish Examiner