Interpol issues global alert, warns criminals are targeting Covid-19 vaccines

- Interpol has warned that vaccines are going to be a prime target for organised crimes globally

- The organisations said already, about 3,000 websites had been identified to be dealing in illicit medicines and medical devices

- Interpol also cautioned that with increased testing needed to facilitate the resumption of international travel, fake testing kits will re-emerge

- As of Wednesday, Pfizer vaccine had been approved for mass rollout in UK and Sputnik V in Russia

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly.co.za News on your News Feed!

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has warned countries around the world that fraudulent traders are on the prowl with an aim of selling fake Covid-19 vaccines.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said on Wednesday, December 2, some of the questionable merchants were already selling unapproved vaccines to the public that was desperate for a solution for the ravaging virus.

At least 3,000 websites, Interpol said had been identified to be dealing in potentially harmful pharmaceutical products, out of which 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware.

Stock said such vaccines if administered on people, could be harmful and as such, urged investigative agencies in all countries to be on high alert.

“Criminal networks will be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives.
It is imperative that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an onslaught of all types of criminal activity linked to the Covid-19 vaccine,” said Stock.

With international travel returning in most countries, Interpol observed that the need for Covid-19 testing was also on the rise.

This, according to Stock, also created an avenue for the production and distribution of fake testing kits.

The organisation has thus urged investors and other members of the public to be cautious when purchasing pharmaceuticals and only accept vaccines approved by WHO.

"It is important to be vigilant. Avoid offers which appear too good to be true," said Stock.

In a separate story, Briefly.co.za reported that the UK authorised the Pfizer vaccine for general treatment. Described as a major step forward in the fight against Covid-19, the government of the United Kingdom has authorised the Pfizer vaccine for the treatment of the coronavirus infection, obviously the first of its kind from the west.

The approval was given on Tuesday, December 1, after Pfizer-BioNTech jab, an independent medicines agency, certified the vaccine for general use, Independent UK reports.

Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!

Related news