NI: Around 140,000 tablets seized in Northern Ireland in global Interpol operation

NI: Around 140,000 tablets seized in Northern Ireland in global Interpol operation

Around 140,000 tablets intended for illegal distribution over the internet have been seized in Northern Ireland in part of a global operation co-ordinated by Interpol.

The Northern Ireland operation, carried out by Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) partners, was part of the global “Operation Pangea XIII”, which was aimed at disrupting the illicit online supply of medicines and raising awareness of the significant health risks associated with buying medicines online.

The partner agencies involved included the PSNI, Border Force and the Department of Health medicines’ regulators, who recovered multiple packages destined for or recovered from addresses throughout Northern Ireland.

Around 140,000 illegal and unlicensed tablets and other medicinal products were seized, including human hormone treatments, diazepam, pregabalin and the stimulant modafinil.

Justice Minister Naomi Long, who chairs the Organised Crime Task Force, said: “Drugs destroy people’s lives. This is why the collective work of the OCTF partners is vitally important.

“It is encouraging that the supply of illicit medicines has been disrupted and that so many drugs have been removed from circulation in Northern Ireland.

“We’re using the outcomes of Operation Pangea to highlight, not only the benefits of working together locally and globally, but to reinforce messages to the public about the dangers to health of taking dangerous medications bought online.”

Det Supt Rachel Shields, chair of the OCTF drug sub-group, said: “Operation Pangea is a really excellent example of statutory partners working together at a local, national and international level to achieve a shared common goal of reducing the harm caused by drugs within our communities.”

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