Interpol expects ‘dramatic’ jump in crime over vaccine shipments

A handout photo made available by the Georgia Department of Public Health showing the special packaging created by Pfizer as the first COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Georgia at the Chatham County Health Department in Savannah, Georgia, USA, 15 December 2020. [Handout photo/EPA/EFE]

Interpol chief Jürgen Stock predicted Monday (21 December) a sharp rise in crimes with robbers seeking to get their hands on precious vaccines aimed at stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

“With vaccines rolling out, crime will increase dramatically,” Stock told business weekly WirtschaftsWoche.

“We will see thefts and warehouse break-ins and attacks on vaccine shipments.”

The secretary general of the France-based global policing agency said he also expected more cases of graft related to Covid-19 vaccines.

“Corruption will be rampant in many places to get the valuable vaccine quicker,” he said.

A vaccine produced by German company BioNTech and US giant Pfizer has already been approved for use by 16 countries.

The European Union’s EMA is posed to make a similar decision on Monday, with the first jabs to begin in the bloc on Sunday (27 December).

In Germany, federal police will be deployed to secure transportation of the vaccines, which will also be stored in secret places.

Besides the threat of robberies, fears are also running high of possible sabotage by anti-vaxxers.

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