Chinese police captured 440,000 fake pills of Viagra and other fake drugs in a joint action with their peers in the United States, with one American and 11 Chinese suspects arrested, an official of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said Thursday in Beijing.
The drugs seized worth more than 400 billion yuan (49 billion US dollars), which are mainly male sexual dysfunction drugs Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, as well as the cholesterol drug Lipitor, according to Gao Feng, an official with the MPS.
On August 26 this year, local police in north China's port city of Tianjin arrested three Chinese suspects selling the bogus Viagra and
Cialis through the Internet, and detected they colluded with Richard Cowley, an American man, undertaking transnational counterfeit drug selling.
The polices of both countries jointly seized three underground factories and eight Chinese men making the fake medicines in central China's Henan province on Sept. 2. Meanwhile, US authority arrested Cowley in Washington state and charged him with importing and distributing counterfeit goods, Gao said.
So far, Cowley and one of the Chinese suspects Li Wenhui has already sold large quantities of the fake medicines to 10 countries including the U.S., Britain, Israel and Switzerland.
The action, called "Operation Ocean Crossing," was the second Sino-US cooperation to crack down on intellectual property rights infringement.
"The action marks a milestone in tracking down transnational crimes between the two countries, and the United States expects further cooperation with China in this field," said Andy Yu, a counselor with the US Embassy in Beijing.
Between November 2004-July 2005, Chinese police uncovered 1,804copy-violation cases ranging from audio visual products to daily necessities, arrested 3,667 suspects, and recovered financial losses worth more than 420 million yuan (about 52 million US dollars).