Viagra copycats tour the globe | business | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 08, 2016-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Viagra copycats tour the globe

business Updated: Sep 07, 2007 02:22 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ten days after making their first seizure of fake Viagra pills in the city, the Mumbai Police believe they have figured out how the Chinese-made knock-offs find their way here.

Investigators, who confiscated 7,500 bottles of such pills, and arrested three men, said Chinese exporters send the counterfeit male anti-impotency drug to Southeast Asia, from where Indian importers smuggle them in via air and sea-routes. Bangkok is probably a major gateway, they said.

“Syndicates in Mumbai are engaged in smuggling in Chinese Viagra from Southeast Asian countries, particularly Thailand,” said one officer from the crime branch, on condition of anonymity.

Moreover, he said Mumbai was also a transit point for further exporting the fakes to countries in Africa and West Asia.

“The anti-impotency drug is in great demand in Dubai and South Africa,” the officer said.

The consignments come in merchant ships, camouflaged among certified drugs with legitimate export permits, explained Deven Bharati, deputy commissioner of police (crime). On planes, Viagra knock-offs are hidden in luggage.

Either way, importers can dodge customs without much difficulty. Even if customs officers lay their hand, by chance, on counterfeit items, they might not even recognise them as such because they are quite expertly disguised, the police said.

“Detecting such consignments is often difficult, unless we have specific intelligence beforehand,” Bharati admitted.

Instances of smuggling counterfeits attract provisions of the Indian Penal Code relating to forgery and copyright violation. The crime branch has booked the three men it arrested ten days ago on both counts.