Criminals around the world falsify masks, tests, and even vaccines. Everything that is currently in high demand in a pandemic. However, Lívia Ilku, head of the anti-counterfeiting working group of the National Anti-Counterfeiting Board, warns that anyone is playing Russian roulette, who illegally buys medicines and vaccines.
In China, a criminal gang counterfeiting a coronavirus vaccine was recently caught selling saline as a vaccine. However, this is not a unique case, according to the novekedes.hu article.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, there has been a shortage of masks, gloves, disinfectant, while there is a high demand for tests. These increasing needs give criminals opportunities. Authorities worldwide have already seized medical devices of uncertain origin – masks, protective equipment -, alcoholic hand sanitisers, Covid tests and anti-coronavirus drugs. Moreover, even vaccines have appeared on the black market.
“Billions of fake medicines seized around the world have already detected a wide variety of substances: brick powder, ink, thinner, paint, heavy metals, arsenic, phosphoric acid, and even rat poison,”
Worldwide, more than 300 million units of illegally sourced, and even sometimes expired, drugs, 47 million uneffective medical masks, gloves, COVID-19 tests, thermometers, protective clothing, and about 2.8 million litres of hand sanitiser gel from uncontrolled sources were seized by authorities.