The international organization Interpol sent a warning message to its 194 member countries on Wednesday, alerting them to prepare for organized crime actions focused on vaccines against the new coronavirus.
In a security alert communication, the international police cooperation organization based in Lyon (central-eastern France) warns of “potential criminal activity on counterfeiting, theft or illegal promotion of vaccines against COVID-19 and flu”.
“The pandemic has already given rise to unprecedented predatory and opportunistic criminal activity,” recalls Interpol, who points out that it has already verified “the promotion, sale, and administration of false vaccines” against the coronavirus.
“As several vaccines for COVID-19 are approaching approval (…) it will be crucial to ensure the security of the supply chain and to identify illicit websites that sell counterfeit products on the internet,” he says.
These actions “pose a significant risk to the health and even life” of the victims of these organizations or individuals, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock added in a statement.
“It is essential that the authorities are as prepared as possible for the emergence of all types of criminal activities related to vaccines against COVID-19,” concluded Stock.
Interpol also calls for vigilance against the risk of circulating false detection tests, the use of which could multiply with the resumption of international travel.