Cyprus Mail
Crime

Thousand of illegal meds seized in Cyprus as part of Europe-wide doping crackdown

Cyprus participated in Europol’s Viribus III campaign against doping and counterfeit medicine, the largest action of this kind ever with thousands of illegal pharmaceuticals seized, police announced on Tuesday.

The pharmaceutical services and the customs department were part of the European campaign, which was coordinated by police.

A total of 14 searches were carried out in Cyprus in which police found 1,878 doping pills, 30 cannabis oil tablets and 3,761 other illegal pharmaceuticals. One person was arrested.

In Europe, 3.8 million illicit doping substances and counterfeit medicines were seized during the campaign, 17 organised groups were dismantled, nine underground labs disrupted, 234 suspects arrested, and 839 judicial cases opened.

Almost 1,000 individuals were charged with the production, commerce or use of doping substances.

Thirty-three countries, Interpol, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) joined forces in the Europol-coordinated operation Viribus for a massive crackdown on the trafficking of doping materials and counterfeit medicines. The operation was led by the Italian NAS Carabinieri and co-led by the financial unit of the Greek police.

Operation Viribus also focused on doping checks during sports events. 1,357 checks – blood and urine tests – have been carried out.

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