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Fake, Swiss-labeled skincare products seized

Agents of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) have uncovered a scam in which a Taiwan agent of a Swiss cosmetics and skincare company allegedly supplied fake products disguised as imports.

MJIB officials and public health officials from the Taoyuan County Government raided an underground plant in Luzhu Township Friday and confiscated more than 100,000 bottles of counterfeit cosmetics and anti-aging skincare products with a market value of about NT$1 billion.

Officials said the illegal plant was operated by a marketing agent of Swissweda Ltd. of Switzerland, which ranks among the world leaders in advanced skincare technology and dermatological research.

After running into financial trouble, the agent started using counterfeit chemicals to sell them as Swissweda products at leading department stores, including at the Breeze Center in Taipei.

With material costs of only slightly over NT$100 per bottle, the agent has been selling the bogus products at over NT$10,000 each.

One female agent of the MJIB started an investigation after she had allergic reactions following use of the fake products.

She called for a full probe after verifying the counterfeit materials and bottled products.

The local marketing agent purchased the chemical materials from a plant in central Taichung and then bottled the products with the Swiss label at a concealed factory in Luzhu, Taoyuan County, according to the probe.

The MJIB urged all consumers and victims who unknowingly purchased the fake products to report to the branch offices of the bureau in different counties and cities.

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