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Beware fake coronavirus vaccines, Interpol warns member countries

PHOTO CREDITS: AFRICAN NEWS NETWORK

The agency said it has issued an orange alert to the police forces in its 194 member countries, warning them against all types of criminal activities linked with the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine are being distributed and administered to patients worldwide, the Interpol issued a global alert to the police forces and other law enforcement authorities to beware of fake coronavirus vaccines, and that organized criminal networks may try to sell fake vaccines or to steal vaccine supplies.

According to The Guardian, the global police agency said that the pandemic has already triggered “unprecedented opportunistic and predatory criminal behavior” and cautioned against a new phase of criminal activity “in relation to the falsification, theft, and illegal advertising of COVID-19 vaccines.”

It also said that it has issued an orange alert to the police forces and authorities in its 194 member countries, warning them against all types of criminal activities linked with the COVID-19 vaccine, which are to be targeted both physically and online. The agency mentioned that there is a high potential for criminal gangs to parallel the production of unauthorized and falsified coronavirus testing kits as international travel took up again and airline authorities demand the passengers to produce a negative test result.

Interpol has highlighted the need for close coordination between health officials and law enforcement authorities, to ensure the safety of the supply chain of the vaccines and to track down unlicensed websites selling the fake ones. “It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be onslaught for all types of criminal activity related to the COVID-19 vaccines”, said Jurgen Stock, the Interpol secretary-general. According to Stock, criminal gangs “plan to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains, and also target the public via fake websites and false cures that could pose a significant threat to their health or even their lives.”

ARTICLE: LIDIYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

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