China is living up to its title as the world’s top producer of counterfeit goods with some even going so far as to sell “fake water” to unknowing residents.
Officials in Shanghai’s Songjiang District announced yesterday that a man had been caught selling large jugs of unfiltered tap water as potable drinking water. According to Shanghai Daily, police believe that the suspect, who has been arrested on counterfeiting charges, may have made more than 150,000 yuan in this illegal scheme.
After receiving a tip that empty, name brand water barrels were being filled with tap water at a water station in Xinqiao Town in southwestern Shanghai, police conducted a raid, catching a man surnamed Zhang with more than 300 jugs bearing the markings of big name companies like Nongfu Spring and Nestle. He had allegedly purchased these containers from a recycling center for just a few yuan each.
However, Zhang is not the first to have the idea for this illegal business model. Earlier this year, there were actually quite a few cases involving falsely-branded water in Shanghai. One family discovered that they had been receiving fake Nestle water from a local business. What tipped them off? Discolored seals and variations in the text on the bottle caps.
The disgruntled customers noted that not only were they paying good money for a falsified product, but that it was potentially hazardous to their young children.
“It sickens me to my stomach to think where they have been getting their fake water supply from,” said the father of the family. “It makes me even more afraid now as my 3-year-old son and 16-month-old daughter have been drinking this for weeks.”
Although the company denied these claims, they were not the only drinking water business to be wrapped up in scandal. In February, two men operating out of a Hongkou workshop were arrested by police for having sold around 100,000 yuan woth of counterfeit water. During that investigation, police uncovered a stash of empty barrels, lids and counterfeited labels.
If this news worries you and you were considering going for a nice, cool, alcoholic beverage to calm your nerves, think again. Apparently, beer is being counterfeited here as well. Is nothing sacred???
By Emma Abrams
[Images via Shanghai Daily / Urban Family]
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