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20 held over 80m yuan fake health product ring

By Zhao Wen (Shanghai Daily)

10:27, February 06, 2012

TWENTY people involved in a 80 million yuan (US$12.69 million) fake health product racket involving banned chemicals have been detained by Hainan police.

The alleged gang leader surnamed Wang was said to have overseen the production and sale of more than 40 kinds of counterfeit health products in Haikou City, capital of southern China's Hainan Province, China Central Television reported yesterday.

These were sold in 13 provinces and cities around the country, such as Hubei, Hebei and Guangdong provinces.

It was reported that police raided five illegal workshops and seized more than 5 million illegal capsules and 200,000 packaging items, including pill boxes, fake trademarks and anti-counterfeiting labels.

Police said the gang forged approval document numbers and ingredient descriptions on the fake product packages.

Packaging claimed products were good for kidney function, enhancing men's sexual performance and treating high blood pressure and heart disease.

Among the 29 types of products seized, 27 were found to contain sildenafil and tadalafil, both used in drugs treating erectile dysfunction but banned from health products, said Liu Yunqiu, a Hainan police officer.

"The function of the banned chemicals led buyers to believe the fake products were as 'effective' as claimed," said Liu.

Liu said overdosing on these could prove fatal for people with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

A gang member surnamed Zhang said they produced fake pills at 0.2 yuan each and sold them for 0.5 yuan.

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