As countries around the world wait for a cure for the novel Coronavirus, the International Criminal Police Organisation, INTERPOL, has alleged that some criminal gangs have concluded plans to sell fake COVID19 vaccines to Nigeria and other countries in search for the treatment of the viral disease.
INTERPOL based in France, said on Wednesday it had issued an orange alert to police forces in its 194 member states warning them to prepare for vaccines to be targeted both physically and online.
It said the pandemic had already triggered “unprecedented opportunistic and predatory criminal behaviour” and warned of a new wave of criminal activity “in relation to the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of Covid-19 vaccines”.
The World Health Organisation so far has identified 49 “candidate vaccines” at the stage of clinical trials in humans by mid-November, up from 11 in mid-June.
In a statement released today December 2, INTERPOL’s Secretary-General, Jurgen Stock, said some criminals have started advertising and selling fake COVID-19 and flu vaccine online.
In the statement titled, ‘INTERPOL warns of organized crime threat to COVID-19 vaccines’ with snippets shared by the Guardian, Jurgen said
“As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organisations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains. Criminal networks will also 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 essential 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, which is why INTERPOL has issued this global warning.”
“It is important to be vigilant, sceptical and safe, as offers which appear too good to be true usually are,” the agency said.