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Interpol says fake vaccines in China, South Africa ‘tip of iceberg’

Interpol raises alarm for counterfeit jabs available online and offline

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Fake COVID-19 vaccines seized in South Africa (Interpol photo)
Fake COVID-19 vaccines seized in South Africa (Interpol photo)

Fake COVID-19 vaccines seized in South Africa (Interpol photo)

Fake COVID-19 vaccines seized in South Africa (Interpol photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Africa and China have seized thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccines and Interpol has warned they could be just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Around 400 vials, which can be used to make 2,400 doses, were found in a warehouse in Germiston, South Africa. Police also confiscated a large quantity of counterfeit 3M masks at the venue, while making arrests of a Zambian and three Chinese citizens.

Meanwhile, Chinese police have nailed a network engaged in the sale of bogus COVID vaccines with the assistance of Interpol. Raids in the operation led to the arrest of 80 suspects and 3,000 fake vaccines being impounded, according to Interpol in a Wednesday (March 3) press release.

The incidents follow the organization’s warning in December, when it issued a global alert to its 194 member countries about organized crimes related to coronavirus vaccines, occurring both virtually and physically. The Orange Notice cautioned against “falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines.”

Vaccine-related crime has run rampant in China. Last month, the authorities busted the leader of a scam that involved making COVID vaccines with saline solution and minerals. Criminals have also been peddling fake vaccines at inflated prices and asking village doctors to inoculate people with counterfeit jabs.


Updated : 2021-04-18 14:52 GMT+08:00