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Crooks Caught Peddling Fake Cancer Drugs for $15M

Police seized a lorry carrying fake medicines in the operation.

Rostov police detained two people suspected of earning 500 million rubles ($15 million) selling out-of-date and fake cancer medicines, local police said in a statement Monday.

"Going by preliminary evidence, the suspects' income stood at about 500 million rubles, and the damage to pharmaceutical companies exceeded 600 million rubles," the statement said.

According to police, the suspects acquired the out-of-date medicines in Ukraine and transported them to the Rostov region city of Shakhty, where the drugs were repackaged and their expiration dates erased.

The suspects also produced fake medicines using their own equipment, police said, adding that the scam had run for two years and involved five people in total.

Law enforcement officers are currently investigating whether the suspects sold fake drugs to a children's cancer clinic in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic.

During raids on the suspects' premises, police seized more than 700,000 fake drugs, machines for pressure-testing medicine vials, pharmaceutical products and more than 2.3 million rubles in cash.

A criminal case has been opened with a charge of violating trademark rules, and police are considering bringing corruption charges.

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