The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) in collaboration with the Indian Government Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted ‘Operation Broader Sword’, a special bilateral multi-agency enforcement operation targeting illicit pharmaceuticals, devices, or precursor chemicals shipped using the international mail system.
Started in June 2023, Operation Broader Sword seized more than 500 shipments of illicit, and potentially dangerous, unapproved prescription drugs, combination medical devices, and synthetic drug precursors from reaching American consumers, the US Embassy in India said in a press release. The operation targeted packages entering the US from India through New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport International Mail Facilities (IMFs) from June 12-23.
During the operation, investigators examined over 1500 shipments originating in India and barred approximately 500 products, including illicit and illegal medications intended to treat or mitigate serious diseases, according to the press release.
According to the press release, Operation Broader Sword built upon the success of Operation Broadsword, which also targeted mail parcels which comprised illicit medical products and drugs from India was carried out in 2020.
Bilateral, multiagency efforts like Operation Broader Sword serve to curb illegal and potentially harmful products from reaching consumers in the US and provide information on shipping patterns and parties of interest that warrant additional enforcement actions, the US Embassy in India said in the press release. Indian and US law enforcement officials by collaborating gain an understanding of international criminal networks, which can be leveraged to further protect the citizens of both countries.