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125 arrests, 37 officials under investigation over vaccine scandal

Updated: May 20,2016 8:25 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese prosecutors have approved the arrest of 125 people and put 37 officials under investigation for negligence and graft as police trace a vast illegal network of vaccine sales that came to light in February.

The investigation that began three months ago has so far seen 190 criminal cases involving 341 suspects filed by police nationwide, 15 people indicted, and two convicted of illegal sale of vaccines, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said in a statement on May 19.

The 125 suspects include 25 from Fujian province, 19 from Henan province, 15 from Heilongjiang province and 13 from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The 37 officials implicated in 22 cases, who are suspected of taking bribes, abuse of power or negligence, are from Fujian, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong and Hubei, said the SPP, adding that 10 of them are to be arrested.

Police in east China’s Shandong province announced in February that they had arrested a mother and daughter suspected of selling improperly stored or expired vaccines worth more than 570 million yuan (about $88 million) since 2011. The vaccines had allegedly been sold in more than 20 provincial-level regions.