BRUSSELS, March 24 (KUNA) — The European Union Tuesday warned that criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis by producing fake medicines and selling them online.
“The amount of cybercrime in the EU has increased. The number of fake medicines, disinfection sprays or miracle cures sold online is staggering,” the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a statement.
She noted that the EU’s police agency Europol supported in the past weeks a global operation against trafficking in counterfeit medicines.
More than 4.4 million units of illicit pharmaceuticals were seized worldwide. Up to 37 organised crime groups were dismantled, 121 arrests were made. Moreover, 2,500 links – websites, social media, online marketplaces, adverts – were taken down. “If a vaccine against the coronavirus is developed, your government and public institutions in general will announce it. You will know about it from trustworthy source,” she said. “Until then, we will continue working closely with the national governments, with the help of our agencies, to keep dangerous counterfeit medicine out of your way,” added von der Leyen.