Interpol's Global Financial Crime Task Force has recently issued a worldwide alert warning governments and their procurement functions that they are being targeted by organised crime groups attempting to sell fake COVID-19 vaccines. It follows previous warnings regarding other "fake or counterfeit medical items available on the market including disposable surgical masks, hand sanitizers, antiviral and antimalarial medication, vaccines and COVID-19 test kits".

It's a highly topical reminder of the importance of managing supply chain risk and performing adequate due diligence.

As discussed previously, supply chain risk comes in many different shapes and forms and a failure to correctly identify it could result in a company not only being exposed to the risk of business disruption, potential sanction violations, reputational damage or unintentional involvement in trade based money laundering or terrorist financing schemes - in the case of fake COVID-19 vaccines or other counterfeit medical equipment, lives could be put at risk.

Criminals have exploited every stage of the pandemic. From creating websites and social media accounts claiming to sell protective equipment and medical supplies to the manufacture and distribution of fake vaccines as well as ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure