China shuts travel agency in GSK bribery case

Jul 19, 2013

China has shut down a travel agency which served as a conduit for bribes allegedly given by staff of British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the government and state media said.

Chinese authorities say GSK employees bribed government officials, pharmaceutical industry groups, hospitals and doctors to promote sales.

The Shanghai Linjiang International Travel Agency was ordered to halt business over "illegal activities" including fake billing, the Shanghai tourism administration said in a statement.

Police also detained the agency's chief representative Weng Jianyong, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported on Friday.

GSK employees gave the bribes directly and through and project sponsorship, police said last week.

A police official estimated GSK funnelled nearly $500 million in suspected through travel agencies and consultants over several years.

Media reports say more than 20 people have been detained in the case, including pharmaceutical and travel industry personnel.

Police have held four top executives of GSK China and prevented another, the firm's British finance director, from leaving the country though he has not been formally detained.

Weng, who as Linjiang's "legal representative" is responsible for the company's activities under Chinese law, told state television that his agency arranged cash payments of 40,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan ($6,500 to $81,000) for GSK.

"Company (GSK) regulations only allowed gifts of a hundred or two hundred yuan which definitely wouldn't do," he said in an interview aired this week.

GSK executives also took kickbacks from travel agencies in return for organising conferences, some of which did not exist, police say.

In a statement earlier this week GSK said it was "deeply concerned" about allegations of fraud by individuals at the company and third-party agencies and would cooperate with the investigation.

Explore further: Chinese police say Glaxo employees bribed doctors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chinese police say Glaxo employees bribed doctors

Jul 11, 2013

China's police ministry accused executives of pharmaceutical supplier GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday of conducting a large and long-running bribery campaign to persuade doctors to prescribe drugs.

China launches crackdown on drug industry

Jul 17, 2013

(AP)—China announced a crackdown Wednesday on misconduct in its drug market, stepping up pressure on the problem-prone industry while it pursues a bribery investigation of GlaxoSmithKline.

Drug firm GSK fined $2.6 million for collusion

Oct 24, 2011

South Korea's anti-trust agency has fined drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline three billion won ($2.6 million) for conspiring with a Seoul rival over the sale of drugs, an official said Monday.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...