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Italian police arrest 19 suspects for pharmaceuticals stealing, trafficking

Xinhua, April 3, 2015 Adjust font size:

Italian police arrested 19 people on Thursday for allegedly stealing and trafficking pharmaceuticals across the country and in northern Europe, local reports said.

Police seized medicines stolen from Italian hospitals and pharmacies worth around 3 million euros (3.2 million U.S. dollars) as well as assets of some 23 million euros (25 million U.S. dollars), according to Rai State radio.

The gang, active in various regions of Italy, was composed of professionals including pharmaceutical wholesalers, pharmacists, brokers and haulers, according to prosecutors.

The suspects arrested were all charged with criminal association, money laundering and international trafficking of stolen pharmaceuticals, which included drugs for cancer and other serious illnesses, national newspaper la Repubblica said.

They reportedly used accounts in Belize and Switzerland to sell the stolen products, some of which are very expensive, to unwitting pharmacists mainly in European countries such as Germany and Britain. Endi