Counterfeit Alert: Three Chinese Arrested With Hundreds of Fake COVID-19 Vaccines, Face Masks

Counterfeit Alert: Three Chinese Arrested With Hundreds of Fake COVID-19 Vaccines, Face Masks

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

South Africa: Police in Johannesburg have seized hundreds of fake COVID-19 vaccines and arrested four suspects in connection with the haul, the Interpol global police coordination agency said on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Two Suspected Ugandans Arrested In Kenya With Alleged Counterfeit Notes

This comes after Interpol, whose headquarters are in France, issued a global alert in December to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organized crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.

During the operation, over 400 ampoules equivalent to about 2,400 doses containing the fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks, and three Chinese nationals and a Zambian national were arrested.

READ ALSO: 4 Netted Over Printing Counterfeit Money

The seizure and arrests in South Africa led to the identification of a network selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines in China, Interpol said added.

Police in China further raided the manufacturing premises and arrested over 80 suspects with more than 3,000 fake vaccines on the scene.

READ ALSO: NDA Operatives Arrest 7 For Selling Fake Livestock Drugs

“Whilst we welcome this result, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine-related crime,” Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock said.

Interpol said investigations are continuing and it is also receiving additional reports of fake vaccine distribution and scam attempts targeting health institutions, such as nursing homes.

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