On November 19, police in Zhejiang province uncovered a nationwide counterfeit condom operation. The illicit enterprise included production, packaging and warehouse storage of more than 500,000 boxes of condoms and was said to be worth about RMB50 million, according to Beijing News.
Police arrested 17 people suspected of involvement with the fraudulent contraceptive manufacturing scheme on Monday. Photos of one of their many workshops located across the country show big-name condom brands like Durex, Okamoto and Jissbon were amongst those illegally packaged.
The investigation dates back to March of this year when a law enforcement team in Zhejiang province's Cangnan county discovered a man frequently driving a delivery cart in and out of a local warehouse. After visiting the site, the police found boxes that contained a large supply of illegally produced condom packaging. After further investigation, police discovered the criminal gang was responsible for illegally selling fake rubbers to stores and motels in 28 provinces, as per Sixth Tone.
While no reports have confirmed whether the condoms at the facility were recycled or new, some were said to have contained silicon oil instead of water-soluble lubricants. Combining oil-based lubricants with latex condoms is said to decrease the effectiveness of the rubber, and could lead to condom breaking.
Image via @新京报/Weibo
This is just the most recent in a series of counterfeit condom operations that have been brought to light in recent years. Over 34 million counterfeit rubbers were seized in Hunan’s capital city Changsha in 2014. Shanghai police also seized three million fake condoms in 2015; some including outdated instruction booklets with 1999 safety standards.
So how can you tell if your rubbers are real?
One tip reported by Beijing News was to examine the bottom of the condom box, identifying whether the box’s expiration date was laser printed or typeface printed. Genuine products are generally laser printed while knock-offs will likely be typeface.
People filled the comments section with light-hearted humor while others expressed serious concerns. One person wrote, "Is this to contribute for the two-child policy?" Another Weibo user vented his feelings in a post, saying, "My god, is there anything that is not fake, these people are really evil!"
[Cover image via WeChat]