Security officials in China and South Africa have seized thousands of counterfeit doses of the coronavirus vaccine according to a statement released by Interpol.
South African and Chinese security forces have seized thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccines in an operation following a global alert issued by INTERPOL warning vaccines would be a prime target for criminal networks.
In South Africa, the security forces seized 400 vials which are equivalent to around 2,400 doses. They were found at a warehouse in Germiston, Gauteng, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks and arrested three Chinese nationals and a Zambian national.
According to a statement released by the international police force, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, South African national police spokesperson said: “since COVID-19 reached the shores of South Africa, the government has adopted an integrated multi-disciplinary law enforcement approach.”
“This, together with our association with counterparts from all Interpol member countries, is proving to be very effective as we have seen in the arrests for foreign nationals attempting to peddle fake vaccines to unsuspecting people within South Africa.”
However, in China, the Chinese Police Force successfully identified a network selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines in an investigation supported by Interpol.
As such, Police raided the manufacturing premises resulting in the arrest of some 80 suspects and seized more than 3,000 fake vaccines on the scene.
The statement said: “The Chinese government attaches great importance to vaccine security. Chinese police are conducting a targeted campaign to prevent and crack down on crimes related to vaccines,” a spokesman for the Chinese ministry of public security said