Coronavirus: Masks worth Rs 15 crore seized in Mumbai

Mumbai: In a major swoop, Mumbai Police have seized three truckloads of 2.50 million masks worth Rs 15 crore hoarded illegally and busted a four-member gang, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said here on Tuesday.

“The masks were being hoarded by the gang and were intended for sale in the black market. The seizure includes over 325,000 N-49 masks, plus others of different varieties,” Deshmukh told mediapersons.

He said that in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Maharashtra is facing a massive shortage of all types of masks and this seizure is expected to ease the problems somewhat.

The seizure came after a tip-off received by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh last week on a gang hoarding the heavy-demand masks for exorbitant prices.

Accordingly, a trap was set up by Senior Inspector of Police (Crime) Mahesh Desai who posed as a customer and finally managed to bust the gang by raiding locations in Mumbai and Thane.

While four persons have been arrested, the police are on the lookout for two absconders, said Deshmukh.

So far, Maharashtra has recorded 101 COVID-19 positive cases besides three deaths including a 68-year-old Fillipino.

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