St. Maarten gets Interpol officePOSTED: 02/27/12 3:55 PM
Seminar about counterfeit medical products begins tomorrow
St. Maarten –Interpol will establish an office in St. Maarten in the near future. The costs of this office are for the account of Interpol, police inspector Ricardo Henson announced yesterday at a press briefing about a seminar that will begin tomorrow and that will conclude on Thursday.
The police department and the Justice Ministry host an Interpol awareness seminar and workshop about medical products counterfeiting and pharmaceutical crime at the Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel.
That the seminar takes place in St. Maarten is a direct result of the country’s membership of the international police organization. Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte attended the 80th session of Interpol in Hanoi in November of last year. On that occasion, St. Maarten became the 189th Interpol-member.
“The high tech infrastructure Interpol has at its disposal is a major step forward in combating cross-border crime in St. Maarten,” Inspector Henson said.
He added that currently there is no real insight in the situation with regard to counterfeited pharmaceuticals on our island. The agenda for tomorrow’s seminar was set by Interpol, not by St. Maarten, Henson said.
“Pharmaceutical crimes are committed by organized criminal networks. They are attracted to it because of the potentially high profits. It is not a major issue yet in St. Maarten but it is good to discuss this before it comes to us.”
The seminar will be attended by around sixty participants from different countries.
The world medical association estimates on its website that 10 percent of all medicine around the world is possibly counterfeited. They are produced below standards of safety, quality and efficacy and create serious health risks, including death. According to Interpol in regions like Asia, Africa and Latin America counterfeit medical products possible represent 30 percent of the market. But Interpol also indicates that the extent of the practice is impossible to quantify the problem at the same time, the organization states on its website that the trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is fueled by internet trade.