Black market baby formula ring busted in major raid

Seven people have been arrested.
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Police have cracked a black-market baby formula ring – arresting seven people and finding hundreds of tins of allegedly stolen milk powder.

Officers raided properties at Richmond, Sunshine and Braybrook in Melbourne on Thursday, uncovering more than $300,000 worth of allegedly stolen property including baby formula and beauty products as well as about $500,000 cash.

A 34-year-old Footscray man has been charged with handling stolen goods and six others, ranging in age from 31 to 77, are being interviewed.

Detective Sergeant Mark Anderson said, ‘We found pawpaw, perfume and face creams and just the general items you can buy at the supermarkets.

‘The cash found is believed to be made as a profit from selling these stolen goods.’ 

Baby formula has become a highly sought-after product which some are calling ‘white gold’ and the methods some parents are using to get hold of it are controversial.

Videos of full trolleys and empty shelves have flooded social media in recent months. 

In the past several months footage emerged of hundreds of daigou, or personal shoppers, at Coles supermarkets selecting hundreds of tins of baby formula

The demand for Australian-made organic baby formula has skyrocketed in China, where trust in local dairy products has plummeted. The fallout is being felt in Australian homes and on supermarket shelves.

Daigou have been known to sell tins of baby formula for up to $200 each to desperate buyers, and pocket the hefty profits.

Considering the overwhelming demand for baby formula both in Australia and in China, major retailers have begun to strictly enforce limits on how many tins customers can buy.

This article originally appeared on New Idea.

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