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September 19, 2010

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Police detain 7 in fake drugs case

SEVEN people have been detained for allegedly manufacturing and selling fake medicine, Shanghai police said yesterday.

The main suspect, surnamed Wei, was the owner of a foot massage parlor in Hongkou District and used it and other two apartments for the illegal manufacture of ceftriaxone sodium injection, which is widely used for various infections, police said.

Most of the buyers were from other provinces and purchases were made through the Internet, police said.

"It was unclear how much profit the gang had made through the medicine and the investigation is still ongoing," said officer Chen Xuankai yesterday.

Chen added that more than 500,000 yuan worth (US$74,372) of fake ceftriaxone sodium injection was confiscated in last month's raid. It would have been "disastrous" if it had entered the market, Chen said.

The injections were made from inferior ceftriaxone sodium powders and most of the packing boxes and phials were recycled from hospitals and contaminated with bacteria, Chen added.

"The effect of the medicine was far from enough but the outcome caused by the bacteria could be immeasurable," the police officer said.

Police said Wei's foot massage parlor came to their attention in May after a tip -off. They later found some empty injection boxes during a regular check, which aroused their suspicions.

In the raid at about 5am on August 4, police caught five suspects, including Wei, with 2,300 boxes of finished product, 3,000 semi-manufactured boxes and 12 kilograms of raw materials.

The suspects said the raw material and packing boxes were purchased from other provinces.

Two other people, one surnamed Xiao and the other surnamed Zhou, were later detained in Beijing and Hebei Province, police said.


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