Gang blackmarketing masks busted in Nepal

Coronavirus outbreak in Nepal

Nepal [Kathmandu], Mar 17 (ANI): The police in Kathmandu on Tuesday confiscated over a million surgical masks that were being hoarded to sell in the black market.
"Last time, we raided the Swayambhu area and confiscated around 1,78,250 masks. This time, we were informed about selling of masks in high price at Milan Chowk of Kapan. We caught the people involved in it. There were two of them," said Hobindra Bogati, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Metropolitan Police Circle, Teku.
The development has come at a time when the world is facing a huge shortage of masks amid the outbreak of COVID-19 -- a pandemic which has claimed the lives of more than 6500 people globally.
There is currently one confirmed virus case in Nepal. However, as the fear of the infection increases, traders across the land-locked Himalayan nation have started hiding surgical masks which has further plummeted the price of the essentials.
The masks which are currently under the control of the police earlier use to cost less than (Nepali Rupees) Nrs. 5 but following the increase in the infection-related cases globally, the prices have soared to at least Nrs. 30 per masks.
The police has kept all the confiscated masks at a warehouse of Kathmandu District Administration Office as evidence of black marketeering.
As per the police records, a total of 11 persons has been arrested on the charges for creating artificial shortage and black marketing of the surgical masks so far.
All the seized masks are also being prepared to sell-off to public by the government itself in cheaper price.
At least 7,019 people globally have died from COVID-19, as the illness is officially known, while more than 173,000 infections have been confirmed in at least 140 countries, according to the World Health Organisation. (ANI)

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