Pune Police arrest two for black marketing of masks

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 27 March 2020

In a major crackdown by officials of crime branch unit 1, two persons were arrested by the officials for allegedly selling face masks at an inflated rate.

Pune: In a major crackdown by officials of crime branch unit 1, two persons were arrested by the officials for allegedly selling face masks at an inflated rate.

With the demand for protective face masks surging to an all-time high due to the coronavirus outbreak, the government has capped the price of it between Rs 8 to Rs 10. It has declared masks as an essential commodity. Officials of the crime branch said that on Thursday they received a tip-off that masks are being sold at a higher price in Somwar Peth.

Accordingly, a decoy customer was sent at Home Link enterprises near Ladkat petrol pump. When the decoy customer asked about the rates of the mask, he was informed that N-95 mask would cost Rs 52, and a green mask for Rs 14. The decoy customer then negotiated for the price, and the deal was set for Rs 52 for N-95 mask, Rs 29 for N-90 mask and Rs 11 for the green colour mask.

The dealer informed the customer that a certain Rohan Shukla would deliver the masks. Following which the godown was raided by officials of the crime branch unit I and 1,7805 face masks were seized from the spot.

“On Thursday night, Unit 1 of Pune Crime Branch conducted a raid at a godown in Narpatgiri Chowk. During the raid, two people were arrested for black marketing face masks and selling them at a much higher price. In all masks worth Rs 4.3 lakh was seized from the spot,” said Bachhan Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).

Police inspector Arun Waykar of the unit I said that the arrested accused are identified as Bhupesh Gupta and Rohan Shukla. The duo was arrested under the Essential Commodities Act.

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