Police in China have cracked down on a supply network of unlicensed and counterfeit beauty products, state media said. About 30m yuan ($4.3m, £3.4m) worth of fake Botox and vitamin C injections, as well as illegally imported hyaluronic acid were sold by the network in a six month period, said Xinhua news agency. Authorities have charged five people in connection with the case. Counterfeit beauty products are thought to be widespread across China. Authorities first found the products in September last year after a snap inspection of a beauty parlour in Changde city. The products being sold at the salon were traced back to a supplier in Jilin province identified only as Zuo who was selling them via messaging app WeChat. Police raided Zuo’s warehouse and found over 2,300 bottles of hyaluronic acid often used in skincare products among other counterfeit beauty products.
They also found Zuo’s shipping records which showed that products had been sent to customers in 10 different provinces. Zuo, along with at least two other suspects, have been arrested for selling fake and unregulated products. China is one of the world’s biggest markets for plastic surgery and there is also booming demand for non-invasive treatments. Chinese authorities have previously warned about the dangers of fake beauty products after patients ended up in hospital following beauty procedures which went wrong. Several cases have involved illegally imported products that have not been stored properly and are often administered in unsafe ways.