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Leaders of drug companies nabbed for running counterfeit medicine ring in Vietnam

Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 15:30 GMT+7
Leaders of drug companies nabbed for running counterfeit medicine ring in Vietnam
Counterfeit medicines are confiscated by police officers in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: N.X. / Tuoi Tre

Two leaders of two separate pharmaceutical firms are among 11 suspects arrested in police's busting of a counterfeit medicine ring recently in Ho Chi Minh City.

Nguyen Dinh Lac Thu, deputy director of Asia Pharmacy Company, and Le Van Khoi, director of Dong Duoc Viet Pharmaceutical Company, are the alleged leaders of the ring, according to police.

Police offices have initiated legal proceedings against nine of the suspects being held in custody, including Thu and Khoi, officers said on Monday.

Preliminary information showed that Thu organized the production of fake medicines at a facility on Hoa Binh Street in District 11.

Her products were mainly bogus liver and bile tonic bearing the names of famous brands.

Meanwhile, Khoi and his gang focused on counterfeiting many types of dietary supplements, hair loss medicines, and enhancement pills for both men and women.

Thu and Khoi joined hands to ensure a stable source of input materials for their illicit production.

The counterfeit drugs were distributed to private drug stores and pharmaceutical centers in Ho Chi Minh City and provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Thu and Khoi managed to keep their operation under the radar thanks to their advantage as leaders of drug firms.

The ring was busted after officers under the Ho Chi Minh City police department and district-level law enforcement first caught a suspect red-handed transporting 20 boxes of fake dietary supplements on Thursday last week.

They then raided a total of seven locations in District 8, District 10, District 11, Tan Phu District, Binh Tan District, and Binh Chanh District, and confiscated more than 500 cardboard boxes containing counterfeit medicine and dietary supplements, along with hundreds of kilograms of material.

The seized products are collectively worth several billion dong (VND1 billion = US$43,000), according to officers.

Officers also found two UV laminating machines and a metal mold used for the creation of fake packages.

The investigation was still ongoing as of Tuesday.

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