Interpol warns global law enforcement agencies of COVID-19-contaminated letters targeting political leaders

Srishti Kapoor
·2-min read

Interpol has asked law enforcement agencies around the world to beware of COVID-19 contaminated letters likely to be sent to political leaders and individuals.

According to a statement issued by Interpol, the updated guidelines draw on lessons learned and best practices developed around the world to help police identify and address crimes impacted by COVID-19, including domestic violence, child abuse and cybercrime.

As per Interpol, the pandemic has provided criminals an opportunity to make fast cash as they take full advantage of the demand for protective equipment. The international police organisation's guidelines include recommendations in relation to deliberate contamination spread, public order, fraud and money laundering.

According to Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General, high demand combined with a limited supply will make COVID-19 vaccines the equivalent of liquid gold to organised crime networks as legitimate move closer to delivery.

Interpol said there have been instances where individuals have spat and coughed in the faces of health practitioners, essential workers and law enforcement officers in an attempt at intimidating them.

This could be a significant risk for individuals infected with COVID-19, according to the Interpol. Furthermore, cases have been reported of attempts at deliberate contamination by spitting and coughing on surfaces and objects. The world body has also warned that despite limited risk, a few cases of threatening letters allegedly contaminated with COVID-19 targeting political figures.

Interpol has added that certain infected individuals may actually move from affected areas to non-affected areas, despite their present medical condition and instances of individuals claiming to sell contaminated samples of body fluids online have been reported.

As per Interpol, postal and front-desk services should be informed of the biological threat posed by suspicious packages and follow recommended protection measures.

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