OPERATION PANGEA XV DEBRIEF MEETING for ASEAN Region 29 Nov. to 1 Dec. 2022, Singapore

by muhammad anas | Jan 16, 2023

ASEAN NATIONAL POLICE (ASEANAPOL) in partnership with International Criminal Police Organization or INTERPOL together with Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA’s) and its National Health Regulatory Authorities (NHRA) including international stakeholders’ partners has taken part during the Operation Pangea XV Debrief Meeting which solely dedicated for ASEAN Region. With the theme ‘Safeguarding Global Health Against Online Sales of Illicit Pharmaceutical Products’, the in – persons meeting was taken place at INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore from 29 November 2022 – 01 December 2022 and it was successfully organized and coordinated by INTERPOL’s Illicit Goods & Global Health (IGGH).

The meeting was at aiming to review and recap the operation’s weeks of action with focusing on the aspects of efforts rendered by participated member countries, challenges, lesson learned, future cooperation and enhancing collaboration as well as establishment of public - private partnership. Fellow officers from Health Department, Food and Drug Administration, Police, and representatives from pharmaceutical industry, in total of 29 persons, were actively deliberating their perception and it had marked a new avenue in forging partnership in the areas of illicit medicines and medical device which drawing from the rich and vast resources afforded by INTERPOL.

The meeting commenced with opening remarks from IGGH of IGCI through their PHPC Coordinator, Mr. Chi-Wang Lam delivered his remark and followed by the presentation of Operation Pangea XV results – Post Operational Activities which was led by Mr. Perry Ng as the Criminal Intelligence Officer and followed by Ms. Claire Standley, the Criminal Intelligence Analyst who presented the Operation Pangea XV – Analytical Perspectives in ASEAN/APAC region. The analytical findings witnessed that sub- therapeutic seizures are increased in the region and the trends of trafficking in illicit pharmaceutical products evolved significantly within the region and beyond that was alarming to all AMCs with close monitoring in increased use of social media platform, shortfalls during post COVID pandemic, world geopolitics situation and the world pharmaceutical market.    

An insight of ASEANAPOL presented by its Executive Director, Pol. Brig. Gen. Zaw Lin Tun by highlighted that deepening levels of international cooperation are paramount in coordinating international collaboration opportunities amongst the stakeholders across the world in gathering effort to combat this crime. He also focused that the integrated approach must be in the top priority whereby the elements of international cooperation, interagency collaboration, public private partnership and the engagement with research institutes and academia, law enforcement and lab authorities must be equipped with advanced technology in order to foster their investigation and intelligence meanwhile criminal justice system must be comprehensive with combination of effective investigation, successful prosecution, harder punishment, use of multiple laws and periodical reviews on law and regulation. In addition, he also emphasised the importance of public awareness and education on the usage of illicit medical products and encouraged for strengthening the use of surveillance and monitoring system which developed by World Health Organization.

By acknowledged and recognized the growing number of dark figures of such crime and challenges / limitations facing by the enforcement team which may reflect the global public health per say, he added that ASEANAPOL Secretariat remain keen to avail itself on the possibilities of collaboration in carrying out any conceivable angle of cooperation in deterring the counterfeit medical product through comprehensive approach of intelligence - led policing that might assist in deeper understanding of crime hot spots, the location and people that are associate with the crime.

Meanwhile during the presentation and round - table discussion, all attended LEA’s, NHRA and International Stakeholder’s Partner presented their successful effort during the operation’s weeks of action while simultaneously pledge their collective support and expressed their willingness to put their endless support towards the established existing platform derived by the IGGH of IGCI and look forward for the more active collaboration in the year to come and how interagency can be formed to create the multiplier effect that leads to maximum enforcement impact.

  In its efforts to eradicate the said type of crimes, all participants also revealed that they had practice the close cooperation within the relevant authorities in their respective country where extensive implements measures had taken continuously by targeting various stages of counterfeit goods production and distribution, including manufacturers, major trade shows, importers/exporters, wholesalers and distributors.


During the last agenda in the meeting, the audience also stressed their challenges in investigation towards the online shopping and e-commerce platform, deterring illicit pharmaceutical product trafficking, controlling the raw material / chemicals and sharing information for the purpose of public awareness and education. Furthermore, the meeting attendees also highlighted the importance of leveraging the capacity building through the active roles of international stakeholder partner’s which meet its curriculum and training needs.

 By considering the essential desire highlighted, INTERPOL through their partnership with International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC) is always available in providing the necessaries training opportunities in educating any global law enforcement and stakeholders group. Hence, it is imperative that all partner to find tune to the solutions, finding mechanism that enable all associate organizations to work closer to exchange information besides establishing better working relationships to strengthening the existence cooperation in apprehend the criminals. In response to the crime’s emerging phenomena and its potential crime that may arise in the future, it would be possible for each other to focus and preparing on setting targets and formulate the most effective strategy for the next step of action in building a safer and secure community in the ASEAN territory to ensure the regional peace and sustainable stability.