Baby formula battle continues

Daigou—or suspected daigou—are again making headlines as a man is filmed allegedly taking orders in the aisles of a Chemist Warehouse

The Daily Mail outlines what it calls a “bizarre moment” when a customer of a Sydney Chemist Warehouse spotted another customer writing names and numbers on tins of baby formula.

The woman shared a brief video of the man in the baby formula aisle at the Castle Hill pharmacy.

“He was FaceTiming someone and it appears the person on the other end was giving him names and order numbers,” she said.

She said he eventually left the pharmacy with “bulk amounts” of formula.

The woman alleged that she spoke to Chemist Warehouse staff, who were unconcerned about the matter.

The Daily Mail reports that the discount giant has a limit of four tins of each variety of formula, which means large amounts of formula can be purchased while staying clear of this limit if several varieties are used.

This is not the first time that the activities of daigou – or suspected daigou – at pharmacies and supermarkets have been reported on by mainstream and social media.

In August 2018 a queue system at the George Street, Sydney branch fuelled speculation on social media site Reddit that the waiting shoppers were planning on stocking up to sell baby formula on to end users in China. This was described at the time as a “blood bath”.

The Daily Mail also reported on the guilty plea this week of Lie Ke, who fronted Burwood Local Court facing charges relating to the theft of baby formula and other items from pharmacies and supermarkets.

It was alleged that Ms Ke had purchased the formula from people who had stolen it from pharmacies and supermarkets in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast between November 2017 and August 2018.

Six people who had been identified by investigating police said that she regularly purchased the formula from them.

When police searched premises used by Ms Ke they found more than 4,000 tins of formula.

Ms Ke, who will be sentenced in June, and her husband both pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

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