Thursday, December 24, 2015

Breaking News / Woo Files: Nu Skin Taiwan head accused of illegally importing medical devices

News from Taiwan via Malaysia, original Chinese and English translation provided. (Thanks to JusticeAlwaysLate for spreading this bit of news)

台灣.新北市18日訊)在馬來西亞、新加坡和汶萊都設有分公司的著名直銷公司美商如新華茂(NU SKIN)台灣總裁姜惠琳與多名幹部、高階直銷商,涉嫌明知產品“BODY SPA機”是未獲衛生機關核准輸入的醫療器材,仍在2012年間從香港帶1萬多套回台販售,獲利約1600多萬元台幣(下同.約210萬令吉)。新北地檢署昨依違反《藥事法》等罪嫌,起訴姜女等31人。
(Taiwan, Taipei Dec 18th) Well-known direct selling US company Nu Skin, with branches in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, has its Taiwan CEO Huilin Jiang, along with several officers and high level members accused of knowing that the product "Body Spa machine" is an "not permitted as import" medical device, yet brought back over 10000 kits from Hong Kong for sale in Taiwan, profited over 16 million NTD (almost $500000 USD). Taipei Public Prosecutor's Office has now officially charged 31 people, including Ms. Jiang, with violations of "Drug Regulation Act". 
Nu Skin is founded in the US in 1984 and operates via direct sales of cosmetics, and is now in 54 markets around the world. Taiwan branch was established in 1992, and Ms. Jiang took over as CEO in 2007. Nu Skin Taiwan was a sponsor of the 101 building New Years Fireworks and festivities 2013. 
全案起因於前年,一名林姓賣家在網路上販售號稱能緊緻肌膚的“BODY SPA機”,被檢舉未經核准,林到案供稱是向如新直銷商購買後,獲緩起訴。
The case started three years ago. A "Lin" advertised a machine online for sale called "Body Spa" that claimed to tighten muscle tone, and was investigated as the device is not legally permitted for sale without Taiwan FDA approval. Lin cooperated with investigators and said he got the machine from Nu Skin reps and had his case continued. 
不過檢調追查,發現衛生署早在2011年,就曾以未附安全證明文件等理由,禁止如新進口“臉部SPA機”,但姜惠琳仍在同年底,未申請主管機關核准,就另外核可BODY SPA機行銷策略,由如新的寰宇領袖、藍鑽級主任等高階直銷商,向下線會員推銷,稱可向海外預購BODY SPA機,然後趁集團在香港舉辦大中華區年會時領貨。
Further investigations show that the Taiwan FDA had denied Nu Skin's import of Body Spa back in 2011, due to various reasons including "no safety documents included". However, Ms. Jiang went ahead, later in 2011, and approved sales strategy of Body Spa kits by (Cosmo?) leaders, Blue Diamond level execs, and such highest level members to be promoted to lower level members, claiming that the high level execs can pre-pay for these new machines and stock them overseas, and everybody can pick up their stock when Nu Skin held their convention in Hong Kong later. 

檢調查出,如新高階直銷商果然從香港帶回1萬零22套,每套含兩台BODY SPA機、6支緊緻凝膠與6支緊膚乳的套組,再以每套3萬多元(約4000令吉)價格販售給台灣會員,共獲利1600多萬元。
Investigation shows that high level members brought back 10022 kits of Body Spa from Hong Kong. Each kit contains two units, and 12 lotions of 2 separate types (6 each), Such kits are then sold to low level members for over 30000 NTD (~ $914 USD) each, with total profit of over 16 million NTD ($488000 USD). 
姜女到案辯稱,不知BODY SPA機是醫療器材,且這些是直銷商在支援香港幫忙發放,業績算香港的。但不少直銷干部供稱,台灣分公司有推廣BODY SPA機,若賣出也可分紅,且如新也利用內部電子郵件,提醒直銷商,在說明會介紹產品時要小心,避免衛生人員到場錄影蒐證,因此認定姜女和公司高階主管、直銷商明知而故意販售未經核准的醫療器材。
Ms. Jiang told investigators that she did not know Body Spa is considered medical device, the members were merely helping out fellow sellers in Hong Kong, counts as sold from Hong Kong (which doesn't fall under her control). However, many members said that Body Spa was definitely promoted directly by Nu Skin Taiwan, there is commission for selling them, and Nu Skin Taiwan sent out internal e-Memos reminding sellers that please be careful when demo'ing the product, don't let Ministry of Health officers film the proceedings. Thus, investigators concluded that Ms. Jiang and the high level execs and high level members not only knew but also deliberately sold unapproved medical devices. 
Reporters were unable to contact Ms. Jiang. NuSkin's PR department emphasized "We are compliant with all applicable laws in Taiwan, and we did not sell such machines in Taiwan. We have faith that the truth will prevail and the court will treat us fairly. "

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