Facebook seller nabbed for hoarding 223,000 face masks, price gouging

Yiswaree Palansamy
KPDNHEP enforcers seized 223,000 pieces of three-ply surgical masks hoarded for sale above the ceiling price in Kota Damansara today. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) enforcers raided an online seller in Kota Damansara today and seized 223,000 pieces of three-ply surgical masks hoarded for sale above the ceiling price.

The seller was moving these at RM3.50 each when their controlled price is RM2.00.

KPDNHEP said in a statement today that the masks, which were desperately needed by frontline health workers combating Covid-19, had been hidden in a store and sold surreptitiously to buyers.

“The value of all the face masks seized is estimated at RM446,000. This operation was done based on information received from the public regarding the sale of face masks which exceeded the maximum controlled price, on Facebook.

“The suspect used Facebook to advertise the sale of the face masks. Sale method is via Whatsapp and goods are sent through post or Cash on Delivery (COD) around Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. The suspect was found to have violated Section 11 of the  Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, and if convicted of the offence, can be fined not more than RM500,0000, and for the second offence or subsequent ones, a fine not exceeding RM1 million,” KPDNHEP said.

The ministry added that if the accused is not a body corporate, a fine not exceeding RM100,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both applies.

For a second or subsequent offence, a fine not exceeding RM250,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both applies.

Consumers are also advised to inform the ministry of any such profiteering sales by reporting it via the KPDNHEP hotline at 1-800-886-800 or 03-8882 6088/ 6245, the Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) via http://e-aduan.kpdnhep.gov.my

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