Sellers of anti-virus items face charges
Two men have been accused of profiteering during the coronavirus outbreak, Shanghai police said on Tuesday.
It is claimed that they had been illegally selling face masks, disinfectant and hand gel for a total of over 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million), police said.
They launched an investigation after suspicions were raised over an online store the two were operating.
Police found that the men had rented a warehouse in Songjiang District where they had stored a great number of products they had purchased that would be in great demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two are said to have bought face masks from Jiangxi, Guangdong and Shandong provinces at 0.35 to 1.1 yuan each and had sold over 2.9 million of them at 4 to 10 times the price.
Police alleged that they also purchased disinfectant and hand gel from Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces at 4.55 to 5 yuan per 500ml and sold 20,000 bottles at 4 to 5 times the price.
Police also said that the disinfectant and hand gel contained alcohol, and thus were classed as dangerous chemicals. The men were not qualified to store or sell such products.
Police said the two could be facing a criminal charge of running an illegal business.