Shenzhen drug administration and Shekou police department seized a total of 140,000 contraband Viagra pills worth more than 5 million RMB from a counterfeit ring on April 1. What could have been a not so good April Fool’s joke for some, the joint raid was conducted after an anonymous tip off saying that the drug was being sold online to people throughout China, reports Shenzhen Business Daily .
Three of the hardened criminals were arrested, after they were caught in a residential building on Qianhai Road in the Nanshan district.
Fake sexual enhancement drugs are not a new phenomenon to take over China. Police from four provinces caught six separate criminal rings selling more than 2,600 kilograms of fake sexual enhancement drugs reported the Global Times. Authorities arrested seven people, confiscating more than 10,000 pills worth more than 30 million RMB.
Fake drugs have also made their way from Chinese suppliers to African consumers. A Shanghai woman was arrested for smuggling fake Viagra to Africa. She ran a trading company out of Togo in West Africa and managed to route shipments through busy ports, SCMP reports. Zhejiang courts sentenced her to 12 and a half years in prison, along with a fine of 200,000RMB.
Sexual enhancement drinks have become popular in Africa, because of the high cost of the standard pill. Viagra pill costs between 5 USD and 10 USD: a steep price, when your daily allowance is around 2 USD.
Although the pills mimic the affects of Viagra, the dangers of using fake pills comes from the ingredients in the pill. Pfizer’s senior scientist Amy Callanan stated that the contents can range from brick dust, paint, pesticides and, in one horrific case, the pills that originated in China had human fetuses. Also, many of the pharmaceutical ingredients have not been tested. The drugs can cause severe complications, such as damage to the kidneys and liver.
In order to avoid getting conned with fake pills, buy from a reputable source. Also, spot a fake by the shape, dosage, and markings. Fakes often come in different forms than the standard Pfizer’s diamond shape, such as soluble, gel, and liquid. In addition, fakes vary in dosage size and lack the official supplier’s markings.
Image courtesy of Weibo user 吉和网