Polish Authorities Dismantle Fake Medicine Network
Polish authorities arrested 34 suspected members of an organized crime group that was smuggling and distributing fake medical products, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) reported on Wednesday.
CBŚP), officers seized hundreds of thousands of counterfeit medical goods, including medicine to treat erectile dysfunction, anabolic products and growth hormones, estimated to be worth some US$10.12 million.In a joint operation conducted by OLAF and the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigations (
Officers also seized components for the production of medicines, over two kilograms of marijuana and 200 liters of counterfeit spirit.
The investigation showed that from 2018 the network based in the Poznań area had smuggled tens of tonnes of counterfeit medical products of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies from Asia to Poland, via other EU countries.
The suspects allegedly repacked the smuggled goods and sold them online in Poland and all around Europe, channeling the illegal proceeds to the accounts owned by the group members to hide the origins of the money.
OLAF acted as an intelligence hub to help retrace the traffickers’ international route and reached out to authorities in other EU countries through which much of the fake materials traveled.
At the Poznań District Prosecutor's Office, 27 people were charged with organized crime, including two accused of running the group. Seven suspects were charged with facilitating money laundering.
“Connecting the dots is one of the roles of OLAF investigators, and I am glad we could do that when colleagues in Poland informed us about the case they had ongoing,” Director-General of OLAF, Ville Itälä, said.
The Polish police and OLAF dismantled the criminal network that sold dangerous medical products across Europe and “these actions safeguard citizens’ health as well as protect legitimate businesses,” he added. “They are a timely reminder that fighting fraud also protects wider society. I look forward to that work continuing and reiterate that we at OLAF achieve our best results when we work collaboratively and closely with others.”