The man, who Chinese authorities have identified only by the name "Kong," led a fake vaccine ring based around Beijing and the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong to the south of the Chinese capital. The group made over 18 million yuan ($2.78 million) by putting either saline solution or mineral water into containers made to look like how real coronavirus medication would be packed.
This operation has reportedly been going on since August last year, but Chinese authorities have only released the details of operations from November onwards.
Chinese authorities said Kong sold around 2,000 fake vaccines in November for 1.04 million yuan ($161,000) to another individual who resold them at a higher price. Of those 2,000 vaccines, around 600 were shipped to Hong Kong before they were sent overseas. No details have been provided regarding which country they were sent to.