Chinese authorities have arrested more than 80 people for allegedly manufacturing thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccines that have been rampant in the East Asian nation since September 2020.
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the police departments from Jiangsu, Beijing and Shandong worked together to arrest the individuals who were suspected of producing fake Covid-19 vaccine doses.
According to the state media, the authorities were able to confiscate more than 3,000 fake vaccines across the country.
After the investigation into the illegal manufacturing and sales of the vaccines, police determined that the criminal activity has been widespread across many provinces and regions of China.
The police told Xinhua that the suspects “have been making huge profits by fulfilling saline solution into injectors to process and make fake coronavirus vaccines and selling them at a higher price” since September last year.
The agency also said the Ministry of Public Security in China was able to launch a special campaign in the country which aims to put an end to the illegal production, smuggling and selling of counterfeit doses of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the illegal administration of the vaccine and other vaccine-related crimes.
Reports claimed that the arrested individuals had been making fake COVID-19 vaccine by injecting saline into pre-filled syringes. The police said the doses were then sold at higher prices.
“The ‘vaccines’ filled with saline will for sure have no effect, but neither will it cause health problems, so it is clear that the suspects wanted money, not hurt people,” said Shanghai-based vaccines expert Tao Lina.
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