Global alliance to combat COVID-19 vaccine trafficking Global alliance to combat COVID-19 vaccine trafficking
Latin America / AMERIPOL

Global alliance to combat COVID-19 vaccine trafficking

16 February 2021

Since last year, the European Union Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the American Police Community (AMERIPOL), with the collaboration of the EL PAcCTO: support for AMERIPOL project, have been working together in the fight against counterfeit medical supplies. The international cooperation project, managed by FIIAPP and funded by the European Union, played a role in launching Operation Link, the goal of which is to combat vaccine trafficking.

The objective of this initiative is to locate and identify, on a global level, criminal networks planning to smuggle, counterfeit and traffic COVID-19 vaccines. The countries that make up the Ameripol police force, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama, are all participating in this simultaneous operation alongside Interpol, Europol and OLAF.

This action is enabling authorities around the world to stamp out potential activities by transnational criminal networks wanting to intervene in legal markets for COVID-19 vaccines by counterfeiting, distributing and marketing vaccines.

In December last year, Interpol launched a worldwide alert addressed to the 194 member countries, in which it asked for “vigilance against organised crime networks wanting to profit from vaccines”.

In addition, EL PAcCTO has organized a virtual work meeting on February 25 with the title: “The fight against trafficking, diversion, counterfeiting, theft of vaccines and other drugs against COVID-19”. The objective is to bring together representatives of the Latin American criminal chain and the EU together with Europol and Interpol to share experiences in the matter