A Chinese counterfeit condom syndicate selling fake Durex and Okamoto condoms have been broken up by the Chinese police.
The police, according to South China Morning Post, raided the gang and seized over 500,000 boxes of the fake, estimated to be worth $7 million.
The syndicate had a packaging plant the police said posed a danger to public health. They said:
We found the workshops where the suspects made those condoms in rural areas in Henan and Hebei. They were very simple and crude.
The hygienic conditions in those villages were very bad. We saw the condoms they were making – they blended the condoms with silicone oil in a bucket. It was totally below official manufacturing standards.
A product manager of a Beijing-based condom maker Daxiang, Chen He, shared that the syndicate even made new condoms from the old ones.
Normally the making of condoms, categorised as a medical device that has direct contact with the human body, involves sterilisation and electronic tests for holes and thin spots.
But in those illegal workshops, which are often very dirty, it’s unlikely they have the right methods to control the bacteria and fungi level or test for holes.
The machines are quite expensive and I don’t think they would bother to buy them.
Some of those cheap condoms are even recycled from used ones.
The gang sold their condoms to retailers for the wholesale price of one yuan, compared to the 20 to 150 yuan genuine brands go for.
17 suspects in all have been arrested, and they are currently under criminal detention.