Pharmacy chain CEO, 2 others sentenced in counterfeit mask case

(      Updated : 2020-06-22

Li Dong, the CEO of a Beijing pharmacy chain, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling phony 3M face masks during the COVID-19 outbreak by the Chaoyang District People’s Court on June 19.

Li Yuzhang and Luo Hanyi, two others involved in the case, were given several years of imprisonment for selling counterfeit or inferior products.

All three will appeal.

Li Dong, who founded the Kang Bai Xin Drugstore chain in 2004, asked Li and Luo to order more than 500,000 masks labeled "3M" from individual vendors in Gaomi, East China’s Shandong province, at a low price and sold them at a high price from Jan 21 to 26 amid the early stage of the outbreak in China.

Many customers complained about the poor quality of the masks after they went into market.

After verification by the 3M company and other quality supervision and inspection institutions, the masks were found to be counterfeits and the filtering efficiency data didn’t meet the standard.

The police set up a task force on Jan 29 to investigate the situation. Between Jan 30 and Feb 1, the three were arrested. On Feb 25, the were prosecuted on suspicion of selling fake products.

On Feb 28, the drugstore issued a public apology and offered compensation worth three times the masks’ price to its customers.