A man in Shanghai has been arrested for selling “fake water” to numerous residents, of which most were likely clueless that they had been duped.
After receiving a tip on June 9, police officers at Shanghai’s Songjiang District raided a drinking water station in the town of Xinqiao, where the suspect held his illegal activities, Shanghai Daily reported.
The suspect was caught filling empty barrels of famous drinking water brands — such as Nongfu Spring and Nestle — with tap water, hoping to sell them as new products later.
The officers were able to seize at least 300 branded barrels at the hideout. The suspect confessed that he was able to buy them from a recycling station for a few yuan.
Prosecutors speculated that the man, now charged with counterfeiting, may have earned at least 150,000 yuan ($22,200) in the illegal scheme.
However, this is not the first time someone has been arrested for making “fake water” in China. In January, one family — also in Shanghai — learned that they had been receiving counterfeit Nestle water from a local business.
They figured the scheme after noticing that the more recent bottles being delivered to their household had slightly different labels, particularly discolored seals and differing bottle code text, Urban Family Shanghai noted.
The following month, two men, yet again in Shanghai, were arrested for the same scheme, reportedly making around 100,000 yuan ($14,600).