30 seven people have been arrested in a crackdown on fake condoms, China Daily reports.
According to the state-run newspaper, more than 4.6 million fake contraceptives, worth around 47.7 million yuan ($7.8 million), were seized in raids across Central China.
More than 2 million fake condoms were reportedly confiscated during one raid alone on a workshop. The gang, operating out of Jinjiang, Fujian province, were caught after police noticed condoms online at taobao.com, an online store compared to Amazon, selling for 1 yuan (16 cents) — an unusually low cheap price for brand name contraceptives.
When police raided the facility, ABC News reports, they found condoms piled high on the floor and workers lubricating the condoms by hand.
The counterfeit condoms reportedly cost less than 0.2 cents to make, and the small factory could produce 20,000 a day. Assuming other overheads were low, the Jinjiang gang were sitting on $260,000 in profits from their current inventory.
The raids took place in March but police only announced the details of the investigation today.
While it isn’t clear if the counterfeit condoms were faulty, cheap Chinese-made condoms have been found to be worryingly low quality before.
Nearly 1 million cheaper, off-brand Chinese condoms were seized in Ghana earlier this year. Thomas Amedzro, head of drug enforcement at the FDA, told the Guardian that the condoms were found to be “poor quality, can burst in the course of sexual activity, and have holes which expose the users to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.”
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