CHANGCHUN, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have detained 12 people for smuggling and selling Indian-made treatments for hepatitis C and cancer, authorities said Wednesday.
Customs in Changchun, the capital city of China's Jilin Province, obtained information in November 2016 that five online stores may have smuggled Indian-made medications and sold them in China at a high price, according to Xu Zhaosha of Changchun customs.
After four-month investigation, more than 160 police officers raided locations in Beijing, Changchun, Changsha and Shenzhen on March 25, pulled in 12 suspects and seized 303 cases of illegal medicines with an estimated value of over 13 million yuan (around 2 million U.S. dollars).
According to the preliminary investigation, some suspects purchased drugs in India after receiving online orders from Chinese customers, mailed them to other suspects in China, doubled the price and made a big profit.
The case involves more than 10 types of medication, mainly for the treatment of hepatitis C and cancer, such as Indian generic version of Sofosbuvir.
These drugs have not been approved for sale in China, but many Chinese patients buy generic Indian versions of expensive cancer drugs to lower costs.
"It is a challenge for law enforcement officers to fight this kind of smuggling. It is hard to find," said Xu.
The Changchun People's Procuratorate has approved the arrests of six major suspects.