In the so-called "operation hood" by the National Police, a gang specializing in the illegal sale of condoms and erectile dysfunction medications through messaging applications has been dismantled in Barcelona. The agents emphasize that the products lacked medical control, both in the manufacture and in the subsequent prescription. There are 10 detainees of Chinese origin who were part of a very secretive, professionalized and specialized criminal group, whose members used various technological security measures to avoid detection.

Investigators say the detainees allegedly contacted women engaged in prostitution, pulling their contact from the websites where they advertised their services, and offered them condoms and medicines. In two house searches, the agents intervened 50 electronic devices, 20,000 units of condoms of different brands, thousands of units of drugs for erectile dysfunction of Chinese, Japanese, Indian and American origin and more than 15,500 euros in cash.

Based on a complaint from a client about the poor quality of the condoms she bought despite being of a well-known brand to the parcel company that made the delivery, the agents began to investigate when they received a complaint from the security delegate of this delivery company. The researchers found the existence of a multitude of buyers nationwide, verifying that most of the clients were women engaged in prostitution.

In this way they obtained very valuable information about the advertisements and the referral addresses, evidencing that the products were offered through instant messaging applications, as well as details about the quality of the condoms and the functionality of the medicines. The victims provided samples of the condoms that were sent both to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) and to the distribution company of the well-known brand of condoms in Spain.

The expert report issued by the AMEPS concluded that the products did not meet the requirements for marketing in our country and that, therefore, it could not be ensured that they offered an adequate level of protection. The distributor assured that it was a clear falsification of the product because the expiration date did not correspond to the batch number, having the condoms deficient edges and presenting a typography that does not use the original brand.

At the end of April, the agents carried out two house searches in Badalona, where the main investigated resided, and Hospitalet de Llobregat. In the home of Badalona, in addition to a "huge amount of condoms of different brands and drugs against erectile dysfunction", they located numerous computer devices that "evidenced the enormous professionalization and specialization of the criminal activity developed". Specifically, 22 mobile phones connected and linked to equipment from which customers and sales were managed in an optimized way.

The police noted the numerous technological security measures adopted by those arrested to avoid detection. In this sense, they had applications to anonymize Internet connections as well as browsers that allowed them to go unnoticed on the dark web or browse in incognito mode, which prevents viewing browsing history. On the other hand, the agents also located a web page managed by the main investigated where a drug against erectile dysfunction was offered in the same format as the one found in the registry of his home.

According to the agents, the group was "very secretive and functioned as a business network of import, distribution and sale to the public of condoms and medicines." In addition, evidence has been found showing that those arrested also marketed these products in Poland and Italy.

The Police recalls that these products pose a significant danger to public health due to the absence of medical control both in the manufacture and in the subsequent prescription of medicines.

  • Badalona
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Internet
  • Barcelona
  • National Police
  • Trapped in Peru

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