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November 10, 2009

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Fake-condom factory busted

THE owner of a factory in central China's Hunan Province has been referred to prosecutors for allegedly producing more than 2 million fake brand-name condoms and selling almost half of them.

Li Anping and 10 of his workers were caught in a joint operation on July 24 by food and drug regulators and police in Shaoyang City.

Officers seized 40,000 boxes of condoms labeled with Jissbon, Durex, Sixsex, Love Card, NOX and Rough Nider brands and more than 1.62 million unlabeled condoms worth a total of 536,000 yuan (US$78,511).

Dusty condoms were scattered over the floor and lubricants was stored in large oil drums.

Teenage girls hired by Li were lubricating condoms and putting them into two packaging machines when officers broke in the 20-square-meter workshop, according to a China Youth Daily report.

Finished products in plastic bags were directly inserted into fake brand packs by the teenagers who worked part time during summer vacation at the workshop, the newspaper said.

Many of the condoms were destined for an unnamed country in western Asia, according to police.

Li allegedly started his business last December with orders from an unidentified buyer.

He bought unprocessed condoms from Dongguan City in southern China's Guangdong Province and initially worked alone at home, police said

After receiving more and more orders from the mysterious buyer, Li bought two packaging machines from Dongguan in March and recruited workers.

Li's workshop allegedly made 2.16 million fake brand condoms from March.

They also turned waste rubber into hair ribbons and sold them nationwide, police said.

Tan Peng, a police officer handling Li's case, told the newspaper that Li had sold about 340 cartons to the mysterious buyer from March.

Each carton contained 360 boxes and each box had 12 condoms.

During the same period, only 30 cartons were sold to other retailers nationwide via Li's online store, Tan said.

However, Li has not revealed the identity of the mysterious overseas buyer.


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