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French police seize 14,000 face masks bound for black market

File photo of people wearing a face mask  stand on the empty Trocadero esplanade  near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on April 20, 2020,
File photo of people wearing a face mask stand on the empty Trocadero esplanade near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on April 20, 2020, AFP - THOMAS COEX

French police have seized 140,000 face masks intended for the black market in a record haul since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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It is the largest seizure since the French government banned the resale of protective masks to prioritise their distribution to health workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two individuals were arrested while they were unloading boxes in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris, a police source said on Sunday.

One of them said he was a business owner and had bought the masks, including 5,000 high protection FFP2 masks, in the Netherlands for a total of 80,000 euros ($87,000).

The masks were to be sold to construction workers for a large profit, according to police.

In March, 32,500 masks from China were seized from a warehouse near Paris and 28,800 masks were discovered in a shop in a district of Chinese wholesalers, also in the Paris region.

(AFP)

 

 

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