Camorra Caught Running Fake Cancer Drug Racket in Europe

The Local: A highly organized crime ring is behind the distribution of stolen and fake anti-cancer drugs throughout Europe, an Italian official told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Domenico Di Giorgio, the director of the prevention of counterfeiting at the Italian Medicines Agency, the pharmaceutical watchdog, said that “organized crime is certainly involved” in the racket, which has raised concern among pharmaceutical professionals that the drugs may be inefficient or even deadly.

Di Giorgio's agency is currently carrying out an investigation into the matter along with the Italian antifraud squad, the Nuclei Antisofisticazioni e Sanità Carabinieri.



“There’s a central structure apparently based in Italy that commissions thefts of medicines in hospitals," he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Camorra member taken under arrest.

The WSJ reported that the Camorra, the mafia clan originating from Naples, and Eastern European groups, which includes a Russian citizen based in Cyprus, appear to make up the criminal network.

A person familiar with the investigation told the newspaper that the drugs were stolen from hospitals or distribution trucks in Italy and transferred to a licensed Italian wholesaler, who received invoices for the medicine from fake wholesalers set up in Hungary, Romania and Latvia.

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