Home>News Center>China

China, US smash Viagra counterfeiting case
Updated: 2005-09-08 15:34

BEIJING - China and the United States have cracked a major counterfeiting case involving pharmaceuticals sold on the Internet in 11 countries, describing cooperation as the key to success in fighting piracy.

Huge amounts of fake medicine, including Viagra, with a retail value of millions of US dollars were recently seized at five facilities in China, officials said at a joint press conference.

The drugs were marketed online in countries including the United States, Britain and Israel, officials said. It was not immediately clear whether consumers bought the drugs and were harmed, they said.

Eleven Chinese and one American were arrested, mostly in the last two weeks, said Andy Yu, the attache of the US Department of Homeland Security's Beijing-based immigration and custom enforcement office.

"In terms of the number of arrests and seizures, I believe this is one of our (the United States') most significant investigations involving counterfeit products," Yu told reporters after the news briefing.

The American arrested was identified as Richard Cowley, who was taken into custody on September 2 in the state of Washington.

The Chinese suspects were arrested in the northern city of Tianjin and the central province of Henan. Officials indicated more arrests could be made pending the ongoing investigation.

Other drugs pirated included sex-enhancing drugs Cialis, manufactured by Eli Lilly, and Levitra by Bayer, as well as Lipitur, a cholesterol-reducing drug.

Samples of the pirated drugs were displayed at the briefing. The packaging of Viagra tablets looked identical to the real thing and had the tiny logo of the manufacturer Pfizer on it.

The operation marked the second time US-China joint anti-piracy efforts have resulted in arrests.

Two Americans were jailed in April for up to two-and-a-half years in Shanghai for selling pirated DVDs on the Internet.

Along with two Chinese nationals, they were accused of running an operation that sold some 180,000 movie and music discs worth more than seven million yuan (863,000 dollars), via US-based commercial website eBay.com and Russian-based threedollardvd.com.

Gao Feng, deputy chief of the Chinese Public Security Bureau's economic crime investigation bureau, said Thursday that more joint efforts will be made to combat piracy in China.

"I believe this is not the end but the beginning. We have confidence in overcoming this problem," Gao said.

Air China jetliner painted for Olympic Games unveiled in Beijing
Chinese tourists watch tide of Qiantang River
Students busy drying books in Anhui
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Siberian oil pipeline to go to China first: Putin



Six-party talks to resume September 13



US$3.7b loan to help Taiwan-funded firms



President Hu due in Canada for visit



Vice-premier: Economy to grow 9% this year



EU backs textile deal, Denmark slams quotas


  New rules to lift ban on fireworks in Beijing
  17 killed in underground blaze hell
  Eatery told 'urine' breach of the law
  Rumsfeld to make first China visit next month
  Proposed parking fee jump worries Shenzhen drivers
  Boeing benefits as China grows in affluence
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008