“Operation Pangea XIV”
GS PAPER II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora - their structure, mandate.
Context: Interpol-led Operation Pangea XIV targeted sale of fake medicines, products
- More than 1.10 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down in an operation involving the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.
- Indian agencies also participated in the operation, as the Central Bureau of Investigation act as the nodal body for the Interpol in the country.
- The seized items included hypnotic and sedative medication, erectile dysfunction pills, medical and surgical devices like COVID test kits, masks, syringes, catheters, analgesics/painkillers, anabolic steroids, antiseptics and germicides, anti-cancer medication, anti-malarials and vitamins.
- The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as INTERPOL is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
- It is the world's largest police organization.
- It provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide, focusing on three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime.
- Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, intellectual property infringement, and white-collar crime.
- The agency also facilitates cooperation among national law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
- Contrary to popular belief, INTERPOL is itself not a law enforcement agency.