Police confiscate more than 300,000 used condoms being washed and sold as new

Woman detained at raided warehouse says she earned 13p per kilogram produced

Andy Gregory
Thursday 24 September 2020 16:50
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Thousands of condoms have been confiscated from a warehouse near Ho Chi Minh City
Thousands of condoms have been confiscated from a warehouse near Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnamese police have seized hundreds of thousands of used condoms which had reportedly been doused in boiling water and reshaped on a wooden phallus to be resold as new.

More than 360 kilograms of second-hand contraceptives - equivalent to 345,000 condoms - were confiscated from a warehouse near Ho Chi Minh City, following a tip-off from a resident.

Footage broadcast by state outlet Vietnam Television (VTV) showed dozens of large bags containing the used prophylactics scattered across the floor of the building in Binh Duong.

The person renting the warehouse said they had received a “monthly input of used condoms from an unknown person,” state newspaper Tuoi Tre reported. 

A woman arrested during the raid told police that the used prophylactics were first boiled in water then dried and reshaped on a wooden phallus before being repackaged and resold.

The detained woman said she had received $0.17 (13p) for every kilogram of recycled condoms she produced.

It was not clear how many of the recycled condoms had already been sold, VTV reported, but it has been claimed that they were being traded in local markets.

The provincial market management director said the condoms had been confiscated as evidence but would be disposed of immediately after as they are considered hazardous medical waste. 

“Condoms are classified as medical items, so we will take a look at the several laws that the owner has broken,” Tran Van Tung was reported as saying.

It follows previous warnings of an abundance of counterfeit and low-quality condoms in Vietnam.

Notably, in 2014, a United Nations Population Fund report warned that some 40 per cent of condoms for sale - some of which used counterfeit branding to dupe customers - failed quality control tests, leaving users more open to infection and pregnancy.

Additional reporting by agencies

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