Counterfeiting of condoms is widespread in Vietnam, and almost certainly what this operation was really involved in. The people who got caught clearly wanted to protect their suppliers, and foreign media giddily took it at face value and passed it along to the world when anyone--ANYONE--could have turned the numbers over in their head for a few minutes and known it didn't add up.
It's a trivial matter in this instance, but much more serious topics get the same treatment.
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