Links between counterfeit medication production and organized crime illuminated as European authorities discover counterfeit medication producing equipment in a Europe-wide breakup of a child-trafficking ring. Over 1,000 arrested and 30 trafficked children freed as part of Operation Archimedes.

Europol has just announced the largest ever cooperated international law enforcement operation that targeted organized crime specializing in child trafficking in the European Union. The effort, titled Operation Archimedes, included operations and seizures at hundreds of locations throughout the EU this past September.

According to the most recent numbers released by Europol, 1150 individuals have been arrested on charges ranging from illicit drug importation and child trafficking, to drug, and consumer product counterfeiting. Additionally, 30 children slated for sale in child trafficking were rescued.

The Operation Archimedes press release noted that, “raids and other interventions took place between 15-23 September 2014 in hundreds of locations including airports, border-crossing points, ports and specific crime hot spots in towns and cities all of which had featured variously in Europol’s SOCTA1, criminal intelligence reports from EU Member States and third countries and analytical products drawn from Europol’s criminal databases.”

The Daily Mail reports that operations were carried out in more than 300 cities, ports airports, and border crossings, and that 20,000 law enforcement officers from all 28 EU member states along with Australia, Colombia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the United States.

At a news conference held at Europol headquarters, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol stated that Operation Archimedes was “the single largest coordinated assault on organised crime ever seen in Europe,” that took “months in planning.” He also warned, “What we have seen emerging is an integrated underground criminal economy.”

By S. Imber