A Hanoi-based company already slapped with a fine and a sale ban over cosmetics made from bamboo charcoal powder in northern Vietnam was caught again as it attempted to distribute the products in Ho Chi Minh City.
In mid-January, police in Hai Phong City inspected a facility by local Vinaca Co. Ltd. and found about ten workers filling empty capsules with a mixture of bamboo charcoal powder and other ingredients. The capsules were put into bottles, labeled as cosmetics meant to ‘aid cancer treatment.’
The fake labels bore the same names as those approved for sale by the government.
Police later discovered that Vinaca sourced some 300 kilograms of ground bamboo charcoal powder from another local business on a monthly basis.
|Violet capsules filled with bamboo charcoal powder are seen at Vinaca’s facility in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam on January 15, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Two workers are seen at Vinaca’s facility in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam on January 15, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
With Vinaca failing to present business licenses, and documents of the ingredients and certificates of the cosmetic production, Hai Phong police seized all the items and the equipment at the facility, and handed the company a VND44 million (US$1,900) fine.
On April 13, Hai Phong health authorities banned the sale and distribution of all products made by the company, which allegedly had distributed them to a number of areas throughout Vietnam.
On Tuesday, health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City inspected Vinaca's branch office in District 5 and found numerous bottles of anti-cancer alternative medicine formed out of the same bamboo powder, along with many other products
The products were confiscated as Tran Thi Tuyet, the branch’s director, was unavailable for contact at the time of inspection.
Tuyet told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper later the same day that the products at the office were only meant to be given free to customers, not for sale, as she had yet to complete necessary paperwork to start selling them.
|Health officials inspect a branch of Vinaca in Ho Chi Minh City on April 17, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Bottles of capsules filled with bamboo charcoal powder are seen at a branch of Vinaca in Ho Chi Minh City on April 17, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The director then contradicted herself by claiming that she already had all necessary legal documents, including the business license and food safety certificate.
She added that the firm has opened more than 400 branches nationwide.
“Our cancer medicine is effective as it is able to absorb harmful substances and detoxify them via the digestive tract,” the director claimed.
Police are investigating further and Vinaca is liable to face criminal charges.
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