Entrepreneurs they were. Legal, ethical and hygienic,
Gang rakes in $10 Million in Fakes
According to state media, CHINESE POLICE have smashed a gang
of criminals who made over 50 million yuan (AU$10 Million) recycling used and repackaged
condoms. Labelled with brand names, the counterfeit
items were sold to hotels, supermarkets, and vending machine operators in
central and eastern China.
Over 500,000 boxes of condoms were seized
and 17 people detained. The fakes were predominantly “manufactured" in Henan
and Hubei provinces, with a packaging plant in Cangnan county in Zhejiang also being raided.
"Simple and Crude"
Local police chief Zheng Xidan spoke to
Chinese media, saying: "We found the workshops where the suspects made those
condoms in rural areas.
They were very simple and
crude. The hygienic conditions in those villages were very bad. We saw the
condoms they were making – they blended the condoms with silicone oil in a
bucket. It was totally below official manufacturing standards.”
Police said counterfeits posed a serious threat
to public health, the case raising fears of an increase in the spread of STIs
and unwanted pregnancies in the affected locations.
Chen He, a product manager at Daxiang, a
professional, Beijing-based condom manufacturer, said poor quality condoms were
a health risk because of unacceptable levels of bacteria and fungi.
“Normally the making of condoms… involves
sterilisation and electronic tests for holes and thin spots,” Chen said.
“But in those illegal workshops, which are
often very dirty, it’s unlikely they have the right methods to control the
bacteria and fungi level or test for holes. The machines are quite expensive
and I don’t think they would bother to buy them.
Some of those cheap condoms are even
recycled from used ones.”
worryingly for Chinese authorities—this isn’t an isolated case. Condoms are often counterfeited in China; there have been at least 10
similar cases since 2014 according to local media. In those cases, perpetrators were sentenced to up to 4 years in prison.
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