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Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Deadly fake opioids, duplicitous detergent, charges laid in pig vaccine case and a casino chip scam in Singapore.


Georgia authorities analyse toxic counterfeit painkillers

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab has completed it analysis of counterfeit pills linked to reported overdoses in the state, concluding they contain a mixture of cyclopropyl fentanyl – a fentanyl analogue never encountered before by the GBI - and U-47700, synthetic opioid 7.5 times stronger than morphine. Both of these drugs can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities, it says. Legislation was introduced this year to outlaw both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia, and came into effect on April 17.


Gang jailed after counterfeit detergent factory bust

Ten men and women have been jailed in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of setting up an unlicensed factory producing counterfeit detergents, commercial fraud and using forged documents, reports Arab News. The gang – which was made up of a one Saudi, two Syrians, two Ethiopians, and five Ethiopian women – received sentences of between six and 18 months and fines of SR100,000 (around $26,700) apiece.


Nine charged in fake veterinary vaccine case

A total of nine people have now been indicted in a case involving the supply of fake porcine circovirus (PCV) vaccines to pig farmers in Taiwan, reports the Taipei Times. An investigation was launched following the sudden deaths of several piglets in Yunlin and Changhua counties, and discovered that genuine vaccines had been purchased at a cost of NT$3,750 (around $125) per vial, diluted with distilled water and repackaged.


Man behind $1.29m fake casino chip scam is jailed

The man behind a massive counterfeit casino chip scam in Singapore - Toh Hock Thiam – has been jailed for seven years and four months. More than $1.29m-worth of the high-quality $1,000 fake chips were exchanged for cash through the Marina Bay Sands casino in a two-day period in November 2015, according to a Straits Times article. A sharp-eyed cashier noticed a small colour difference in the chips and alerted the authorities, and Toh was arrested a week later. On investigation it emerged that security features added to the chips were absent – and should have been detected using equipment in the cashier's cage.


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