01 Mar 2020

A medical emergency: Trafficking pharmaceuticals from Tunisia to Libya

While medicines have always been smuggled between the two countries, the humanitarian situation in Libya has amplified the problem.

Significant quantities of authentic medicines are being smuggled into Libya from neighbouring Tunisia by organised crime networks starting in Tunisia’s main medicine hubs: the Central Pharmacy, hospitals and private pharmacies. Their successful enterprise is due to weak links in the control and management of the supply chain of authorised medicines, a situation exacerbated since the 2011 revolution in Tunisia and aided by the current conflict in Libya. From April to Septemer 2018 ENACT’s Regional Organised Crime Observatory (ROCO) for North Africa investigated the problem and this paper explores its complexities and suggests some solutions.

About the author

Jihane Ben Yahia is the Regional Organised Crime Observatory Coordinator for North Africa. Based in Tunis, she joined the ENACT project in February 2018. Prior to joining the ISS, Jihane was a legal consultant and worked in local civil society organisations in the field of rule of law and governance.

Photo © Adobe Stock – Herby (Herbet) Me

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