Letters contaminated with coronavirus may be sent to political leaders: Interpol
Interpol has also noted that instances of individuals claiming to sell contaminated samples of body fluids online have been reported.
Nov 20, 2020 / 12:28 PM IST
A man passes in front of Interpol signages in Singapore. (Representative image: Reuters/Edgar Su)
The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as the Interpol, has asked law enforcement agencies across the world to beware of letters being contaminated with the novel coronavirus amid the pandemic. The agency has warned that letters contaminated with the virus, which causes COVID-19, could be sent to political leaders and individuals.
In its latest guidelines on law enforcement for sent to 194 of its member nations, including India, Interpol has said that there have been “instances of individuals spitting and coughing in the faces of law enforcement officers, health practitioners and essential workers to intimidate them.”
“This could represent a risk if these individuals are infected with COVID-19,” the guidelines added.
“Despite limited risk, a few cases of threatening letters allegedly contaminated with COVID-19 targeted political figures. This modus operandi could also target other vulnerable groups,” Interpol has warned.
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The guidelines also suggest that “certain infected individuals” may deliberately move from affected areas to non-affected areas, despite their medical condition and any travel restrictions in place.
Interpol has further noted that instances of individuals claiming to sell contaminated samples of body fluids online have been reported.
The organisation has recommended that law enforcement officers “should take particular care when approaching uncooperative individuals and wear PPE (when available)”.
The guidelines add that border police officers should report any individual showing symptoms at crossing points and specialised investigators in cybercrime or counter-terrorism should pay particular attention to online market places.
Law enforcement officers involved in public order or in charge of protecting prominent public figures should be made aware of these risks, the guidelines note.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic