A man has been arrested for allegedly selling fake coronavirus testing kits on the dark web.
The man was arrested at home in Birmingham and taken into custody on Tuesdayfor alleged offences under the Fraud Act 2006.
He is believed to have sold more than 500 kits to customers in the UK and United States.
National Crime Agency officers seized small quantities of what is believed to be cocaine and heroin, and business records which are now being examined.
A second property was also searched in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where suspected fake Covid-19 testing kits were found.
A 36-year-old being sought in connection with selling kits was not present, and officers are urging him to come forward.
Matt Horne, Deputy Director of Investigations at the NCA, said:“Anyone thinking of trying to profit from the public’s fears about the pandemic should take note of this arrest.
“Bringing offenders to justice and ceasing their activities is a key priority across law enforcement, the NCA will target criminals who pose a risk to our collective effort to tackle the pandemic.
“We are investigating a number of reports on the sale of counterfeit products relating to Covid-19, and will continue to work with partners to protect the public.”
Ben Russell, Deputy Director of the National Economic Crime Centre, said:
“We know that criminals are trying to turn the pandemic to their advantage, but there are things you can do to help stay safe.
“Be even more cautious than usual when shopping online and always follow the Take Five To Stop Fraud advice: Stop, Challenge & Protect. If you believe you are a victim, please report it to your bank and Action Fraud immediately.
Andy Morling, Head of Enforcement at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said: “No COVID-19 antibody self-testing kits have received CE mark status and there are no such testing kits available in the UK for home use.
“It is also illegal to supply these self-test kits for use by members of the public in the UK.
“We urge the public and healthcare professionals to report to us via our Yellow Card Scheme any website or social media post offering to sell these types of products: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.