Afghan Healthcare Ministry to Fight Drug Counterfeiting with Blockchain

One of the many problems that war-torn Afghanistan has been facing in recent times that have taken a toll on its healthcare system is the problem of counterfeit drugs. The country is looking at modern technology to solve the problem. The healthcare ministry of Afghanistan, along with the few pharmaceutical companies, has decided to use Fantom’s blockchain technology to combat the problem. Fantom’s Opera Blockchain technology would be employed to track 80,000 units of pharmaceutical products belonging to four different companies in the country.

Once the success and efficiency of this blockchain technology are proved, the use of Opera’s blockchain would be further scaled during the later part of the year. In this pilot experiment, 50,000 units of hand sanitizer, 10,000 units of Dioacare foot cream, 10,000 units of joint creams, and 10,000 units of Kofol tablets would be tracked. Afghanistan has been combating the issue of counterfeit drugs for many years now. In 2017 itself, the law enforcement agencies of the country seized more than 100 tons of counterfeit drugs, including counterfeit products, substandard medicines, and outdated drugs.

With the use of blockchain technology, pharmaceutical companies aim to create an immutable trail of the supply chain that cannot be tampered with. The products in this pilot assignment would contain a shipping label that would be scanned at every stage of the shipping and distribution process. Every time the product is scanned, a hash of the name of the product, expiration date, batch identification number, and other relevant details would be saved on the blockchain along with the timestamp.

A hash is typically a non-reversible mathematical function that allows individuals to verify whether the data provided is the same as the origin of hash. As per the World Health Organization, one in every ten medical products is substandard or falsified in developing nations. However, in Afghanistan, this number is much higher.

In a report provided by the European Asylum Support Office, the majority of Afghanistan’s population does not have access to adequate medical and healthcare facilities. It further said that 20 percent of the country’s health sector did not have electricity, 40 percent of the country’s medical and healthcare products are smuggled into the country, and over 94 percent of the population lives more than 2 hours away from their homes.

To address these issues, the Afghanistan healthcare ministry is looking to use Fantom’s Blockchain technology. The trial of a smart medicine program based on blockchain is the first step towards rehabilitation of the healthcare sector. The program was slated to commence much earlier, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused unusual delays. Michael Kong, CIO of Fantom, says that there has been a huge demand for health and medical products in the market due to the pandemic.

It has provided opportunistic elements in the country to take advantage of the surge in demand to supply substandard medical products as well as cause an imbalance in the base retail prices of products. The three other companies that are part of the smart medicine program are Nabros Pharma, Bliss GVS, and Royal Star Pharma. The healthcare ministry, after the successful set up of the supply chain of medicines and healthcare products, is also looking towards using blockchain technology for the storage of patients’ health records.

Russian Crypto Criminal Set for Sentencing in the United States

One of the citizens from Russia is found under the fraud act related to crypto and regarded to be a cybercriminal with a high-profile. This case is recorded as one of the most criminal sets which are to be sentenced under lawful obligations. Sergey Medvedev, a national citizen of Russia who is involved in an “escrow crypto service,” has raised his plead in response to the fraud caught. He is pleaded as a guilty citizen who is involved in the fraud of the crypto case. Medvedev has pleaded a guilty response to the charges applicable to racketeering in the US. 

Infraud and Liberty Reserve Organization:

It was admitted by the man who stands at the age of 33-years-old that he was involved in the establishment of the organization. He admitted on June 26 in front of the US District Court for Nevada that the international criminal enterprise was established by him, which involved credit cards and equipment sale facilitation. The organization was kept in operation for eight years. In the company, all trafficking included for information stolen from the credit cards and other illegal things. 

In 2010, it was recorded that the Infraud Organization began with its operations. In the operation years, an illegal attempt was made, and about $560m transactions took place. Also, Medvedev revealed that he was involved in running the Liberty Reserve service, which facilitates all the transactions involving Bitcoin.

During 2018, the Justice Department came up with indicting the cybercriminal and all his partners for the racketeering count. Medvedev got arrested himself later in Thailand in the same year. During that time, it was reported by the Bangkok Post that 100,000 BTC was found in possession, as found by the agencies made for ensuring law enforcement.

In the recent plea made by him, nothing was mentioned regarding the extent to which all the transactions involving Bitcoin took place. Though, it was reported that he got hands over $1.04m digital currency by way of exchange. As per the reports, Russian cybercriminal’s next hearing is to be held on December 9. 

Aleksei Burkov: Cybercriminal running Dark Web platform

Medvedev is the second cybercriminal in Russia who got sentenced in so much time. On the day when Medvedev made the plea, another announcement was made by the Department of Justice regarding the nine years punishment sentence made for Aleksei Burkov. As per the document released as a sentence notice, Burkov got involved in running a platform Cardplanet, Dark Web, wherein ads are placed, and information stolen from the confidential credentials is sold out over it. Also, the department of justice alleged that several card information was related to the ones who belong to America. With the sale of stolen data over the platform, it has helped the cybercriminal to get hands over $20m using making fraudulent purchases using the credit card information. 

Another report reveals that the cybercriminal was involved in running an allegedly framed club to share partnerships with other criminals. In the club, the participants hold the opportunity to make the advertisement regarding the goods stolen illegally or even the activities related to illegal things. In the club, each member is liable to pay an amount of $5,000 to use the platform and operate it with permission. And the members were required to come up with three reference members.

In 2015, authorities even took strict action against him by seizing him when he was residing in the areas of Israel. Even an effort was made by Russia’s government to get him free from the Israelis hostage swap. After a deal made between both parties, an agreement got framed to send the latter to the US.