In a major crackdown on illegal or counterfeit drugs authorities seized 82 million doses of antibiotics, contraceptives and malaria medications in 16 South African countries, the World Customs Organization (WMO) said on Thursday.
The operation, named Vice Grips 2, was carried out by customs inspectors who searched containers in 16 ports from July 11 to 20, it said.
The biggest hauls were made in Angola, Cameroon, Ghana and Togo. Most of the illicit drugs came from East and South Asia and the Middle East.
Illegal medications are a growing problem in Africa, as they may be toxic or fail to have a sufficient dose of active ingredient to combat a disease.
"These alarming results are a reminder of the scale of medicine trafficking in Africa and the danger it presents for the health of African consumers," the WMO said at a press conference in Paris.