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February 20, 2019

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Internet drug scammers sell ‘tailor-made’ treatments

Thirty-three suspects have been caught for defrauding more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in an online medicine fraud, Shanghai police said yesterday.

Over 50 people from Shanghai fell foul of the gang which is based in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.

The gang ran a branch of the Baozhilin drugstore chain, according to police, a subsidiary company of Jinzheng Pharmaceutical Group.

Investigation is still under way as to the company’s role in the fraud.

Yu Bin, officer in charge of the case, said the victims complained that they were sold medicines at 10 times the price for the same items at drugstores, or that the expensive medicines they bought didn’t work as promised.

The victims were contacted on WeChat by salespeople claiming to work for Baozhilin.

They justified the very high prices of the medicine by saying they were tailor-made to the patients’ needs and had greater healing power, police said.

A small amount of money was paid through WeChat as a deposit, and the remainder in cash on delivery.

None of the salespeople had work experience or diplomas in medicine but were given basic training in TCM and a book of answers to common questions, police said.

The gang didn’t change the packaging of medicines delivered to the victims.

All of the suspects have confessed, according to police.


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