However, it is vast global demand for the restricted supply of COVID-19 vaccines that offers the most alluring prize for criminal gangs. Black markets thrive in situations where demand outstrips supply, and there has long been an illicit trade in medicines.
- Countries with underdeveloped pharmaceutical supply chains will be vulnerable to theft and diversion of vaccine supplies.
- Government vaccine strategies could be undermined by high-profile black market vaccine scandals that damage public trust.
- Pharmaceutical companies are vulnerable to reputational damage if their supply chains are found to be tampered with.
- Criminal profits will fund other illegal activities such as trafficking of people, drugs and arms.