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China holds GSK execs for bribery

AFP-JIJI

Chinese police have detained four top executives of British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in China for alleged bribery and other offenses, state media said Monday.

Four managers whose responsibilities included operations, human resources, legal affairs and business development had committed “serious” economic crimes, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The Beijing News newspaper said in a separate report that more than 20 people, including the four executives, were being held in connection with the probe, which came to light earlier this month. Others were pharmaceutical and travel industry officials, it said, with at least four travel agencies involved.

Chinese authorities said last week that GSK staff had bribed government officials, pharmaceutical industry groups, hospitals and doctors to help sales of their products and increase prices for drugs. The bribes were given directly or made through travel agencies and project sponsorship, the Ministry of Public Security said last Thursday.