A criminal ring believed to have been buying large quantities of expensive medicines on the Internet and selling them in various European Union countries has been broken, police said yesterday. Officers have arrested a Norwegian woman, working for a Cyprus-based off-shore firm, who is believed to be a key member of the ring. She is alleged to have made online purchases of large quantities of painkillers, stimulants and anti-cancer medicines, many usually available only with a prescription. She is then alleged to have sent the medicines in small packets from Greece to Norway, where they were sold on at great profit. Doctors and pharmacists, being sought by police, are believed to have facilitated the process. The ring is believed to have moved some 7,000 boxes of drugs in the past 10 months which, experts say, may have created artificial shortages on the market.