National

129 websites shut down
in week-long crackdown

High risk products: Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) chairwoman Lucky S.Slamet stands by a huge pile of counterfeit drugs seized during a week-long operation codenamed the sixth Pangea Operation. During the operation from June 18 to 25, investigators seized 292,535 pieces of illegally distributed drugs, traditional herbal medicine, cosmetics and health supplements  consisting of 721 different items worth Rp 5.59 billion (US$563,226) while 129 websites were shut down. (Courtesy of the BPOM)
High risk products. Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) chairwoman Lucky S.Slamet stands by a huge pile of counterfeit drugs seized during a week-long operation codenamed the sixth Pangea Operation. During the operation from June 18 to 25, investigators seized 292,535 pieces of illegally distributed drugs, traditional herbal medicine, cosmetics and health supplements consisting of 721 different items worth Rp 5.59 billion (US$563,226) while 129 websites were shut down. (Courtesy of the BPOM)

Investigators identified 129 Indonesian-based websites that were allegedly used to distribute both illegal and counterfeit drugs as well as cosmetics in a week-long crackdown codenamed the sixth Pangea Operation.

The uncovered websites led to the investigation of 20 distribution facilities, during which investigators seized 292,535 pieces of illegally distributed drugs, traditional herbal medicine, cosmetics and health supplement products consisting 721 items worth Rp 5.59 billion (US$563,226).

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) said that following the crackdown, the government would be taking legal action against 14 cases uncovered during the operation.

“BPOM chairwoman Lucky S.Slamet, as the head of illegal food and drugs elimination working group, has asked the Communications and Information Ministry to blockade 129 websites,” the agency said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

The sixth Pangea Operation took place in Jakarta and five other areas in Indonesia – Batam, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra and West Java – from June 18 to 25.

Compared to similar operations in 2011 and 2012, the BPOM said this year’s Pangea Operation yielded significant improvements both in the number of websites identified and the scope of operations as well as the number and value of illegal products confiscated in the crackdown.

Previously, investigators seized Rp 7 billion worth of illegal products and named 5 people suspects during operations in six cities – Bandung, Batam, Pekanbaru, Samarinda, Semarang and Surabaya -- from January to June.

In the same period, the BPOM destroyed more than 4 million pieces of illegal food and drugs consisting 17,031 different items worth nearly Rp 13 billion. (ebf)

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