Counterfeit clippings: news from around the world

CounterfeitSubstandard medicine and fake corn, clothing, poker chips and washing powder feature in our round-up of recent counterfeiting incidents.

Substandard medicine

A drug for inducing labour in pregnant women that was subject to a recall in India because it was substandard in quality has been discovered in government-run health clinics in neighbouring Nepal, according to an article in the Republica newspaper. The misoprostol product was reportedly purchased by Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) from Laborate Pharmaceuticals India Ltd. The MoHP is in charge of distributing essential medicines for free at national clinics, and the incident has led to allegations that kickbacks are paid to government officials by overseas drugmakers to win tenders that could be granted to domestic producers.

Counterfeit corn

The authorities in Guyana have warned consumers that cartons of counterfeit corn - which pass themselves off as Del Monte products - are circulating in the country. The fake gold and white corn products are found in cartons of 24 cans labelled Super Foods, according to a report in Kaietur News, which notes that the copies have a gold-coloured cap while the originals are silver. The cans used in the counterfeits are poor quality and could puncture easily, raising the risk of microbial or chemical contamination and food poisoning if consumers eat the contents." Guyana's Food and Drug Department (FDD) has "commenced an investigation to determine the exact location where the counterfeiting is being done," it notes.

Shanghai seizures

The authorities in Shanghai, China, have seized more than 12,000 counterfeit products - including copies of Burberry, Disney, Chanel, Ugg and Longchamp products - in a series of raids on markets and factories in the city, according to a Global Times report. The raids were carried out at the Shanghai South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market in Huangpu district, as well as locations in Songjiang and Minhang districts.

Fake casino chips

A man and woman in the US have been charged with offenses related to counterfeiting of poker chips that were designed to defraud a casino in Maryland. A search of premises revealed $1 chips from another casino in West Virginia that had been over-painted to resemble $100 chips issued by the Maryland Live! casino. Vuong Truong and his wife Rosa Nguyen have been detained on theft and conspiracy charges. Two other people are reported to be sought by police in connection with the case. Meanwhile, poker players who entered a $2m tournament at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City have filed a class action lawsuit after the discovery of fake chips led to the event being abandoned.

Pseudo Persil washing powder

An out-of-work builder in Northern Ireland has been given a suspended sentence after being discovered manufacturing fake Persil laundry detergent at his home in Armagh. Adrian Grant pleaded guilty to one count of trading in counterfeit goods and two of possessing articles for the purposes of fraud. The Persil brand is owned by Unilever in the UK and Ireland, although German chemical firm Henkel & Cie owns it in most other markets.

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