Nepal | October 22, 2020

Police seize one million masks

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Kathmandu, March 18

Nepal Police today confiscated one million units of surgical masks from a warehouse in Sano Bharyang, Swoyambhu, Kathmandu. The masks were stockpiled to be sold in the black-market.

Police also arrested Yubaraj Neupane, owner of the warehouse who is a permanent resident of Gorkha district from his warehouse.

They have also arrested around two dozen black marketers from different parts of Kathmandu.

This is the largest operation conducted by police so far amidst looming fear of the possible outbreak of the coronavirus in the country. On March 16, police had confiscated 804,000 units of facemasks in a raid from another warehouse in Satungal.

FILE – Police personnel handling seied masks. Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Nepal Police

On March 15, police had confiscated over 106,800 units of facemasks from Dallu. Police have also confiscated around 100,000 units of facemasks from various places of Kathmandu like Thamel and Mahabouddha, they said. In the past one week or so police confiscated above 2.3 million units of facemasks from around Kathmandu.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Bahadur Thapa, chief of the MCD said police had launched a manhunt after receiving a tip-off that Thapa was hoarding Chinese facemasks in a bid to sell them at higher price.

They have also been able to confiscate around 50,000 hand sanitisers from black marketers in the past few days.

The high-level coordination committee for prevention and control of coronavirus led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishowor Pokhrel has decided to provide 500,000 units of confiscated facemasks to the Ministry of Health and Population.

Earlier on March 16, a meeting of another high level government authority led by Attorney General Agni Prasad Kharel had decided to sell the confiscated facemasks to the public through reliable government bodies at market price.

A version of this article appears in print on March 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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