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February 10, 2011

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Backstreet dealers selling sex boost pills that could be fatal

MEN tempted to buy sex drugs from illegal backstreet vendors will end up disappointed, or even put their lives at risk, a Shanghai Daily investigation has revealed.

One dealer admitted to a Shanghai Daily reporter that cheap blue pills costing 2 yuan (US$0.30) "kill people." Other pills bought by an undercover reporter were found to be fakes.

This follows a crackdown by authorities on the sale of so-called "magic pills" near Shanghai's City God Temple over the Spring Festival holiday.

Business was booming along Fangbang Road W, an old residential street, attracting mainly older men seeking to enhance their sex lives.

According to an official surnamed Yu, 50 boxes of sex drugs were confiscated yesterday alone. These were found to be fakes.

But the clampdown over the past few days has not stopped the shady business. Dealers work in groups of around 20 people with defined roles: men stand on each end of a lane on guard; dealers under the guise of porn DVD vendors ask passersby if they want "something special"; the boss delivers the goods; and his bodyguards administer beatings to reluctant customers and even urban management officials.

A Shanghai Daily reporter, under the cover of a businessman seeking partnership with the drug dealers, was led by a DVD seller into the lane, No.40 on Fangbang Road W.

Urban management officers could be seen patrolling close by but failed to notice what was going on.

The exit was immediately blocked by five middle-aged "heavies," each wearing a black leather hat. The reporter was told to pay 100 yuan up-front or they would block his way out. Highly suspicious, they ordered the reporter to take out his cell phone and headset.

He was then taken to a small room further down the lane. The deal was simple and quick. The DVD seller demanded the cash, then the boss arrived and threw down three boxes of the sex drug.

"We no longer sell the cheap blue pills. They kill people and we are now having a tough time," said the boss. However, vendors are still hawking these.

After the deal was done, one guard followed the reporter for several blocks.

The "tough time" referred to by the boss was a sweep by an urban management team with police hours earlier.

Information on the drugs packaging said they increase sexual stamina for as long as 180 hours. But none have legal licenses and the producers are fake companies.

"We have been fighting those savage dealers for years," said Yu, "They used to beat law enforcement team workers and now they play hide and seek with us."

Yu said the urban management team was seeking joint efforts with other administrations to tackle the dealers.


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