China / Society

Police smash medicine bribes gang in Guangdong

By ZHENG CAIXIONG ( Updated: 2012-09-19 20:18

Guangdong police have detained 62 people suspected of being involved in the bribing of medical professionals in Shantou, a port city in eastern part of Guangdong province, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

Li Shanxiong, deputy director of the economic criminal investigation bureau under Guangdong provincial department of public security, told a press conference the gang was being investigated into bribes worth more than 490,000 yuan ($77,777) offered to 61 doctors and medical staff from 8 hospitals in the city.

"22 of the suspects have now been transferred for prosecution," he said.

"Most of those detained, in a special operation at the end of June, were medical representatives selling medicines to local hospitals who are suspected of offering bribes to doctors and medical staff," Li said, who described the gang as the largest ever, specifically targeting the medical sector in the Shantou special economic zone.

The medical scam is one of several carried out by the police in recent months.

Li said that police had carried out 24,983 separate investigations, in an overall anti-corruption campaign that took place between March 1 and Aug 31 in Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The figure is more than double the number of investigations during the whole of last year in the key economic region.

Li said that so far this year, 15,000 corruption and bribery cases have been solved, 230 percent more than in 2011, involving 26,000 arrest involving counterfeit bank notes, credit cards, invoices, medicines, cosmetic products, wines, cigarettes and food.

On August 13, Shenzhen police detained 45 suspects when they smashed an illegal pyramid sales scam.

The group had employed more than 20,000 direct sales representatives, and the scam was worth more than 120 million yuan.

Police in Guangzhou also detained 8 suspects involved in a fake credit card gang in mid July, which is believed to have defrauded more than 5.6 million yuan since the beginning of the year.

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