Authorities say they crippled an operation selling face masks secretly to consumers at RM3.50 per unit, which is higher than the RM2 ceiling price.
A team from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s headquarters raided a location in Kota Damansara on Wednesday (March 25) and uncovered this activity.
Enforcement director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said 223,000 pieces of the three-ply face masks found at the premises were seized.
The value of the seizure was RM446,000.
The raid followed a tip-off from members of the public, who complained about face masks being sold discretely online at higher prices at the “Face Mask Wholesale (Malaysia Only)” and “Pseud John Elton” Facebook pages.
“From the raid, we discovered that the culprits were selling the face mask at RM3.50 per unit. This is against the set price for the item in the market, which is RM2.00 per unit.
“Their method of selling was through online, where customers can place their orders via WhatsApp and the item will be delivered to them either via postage or cash-on-delivery (COD) method,” he said in a statement.
The suspects will be charged under Section 11 of the Price Control and Anti Profiteering Act 2011. The statement did not specify how many suspects were detained.
Under this section, an individual could be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed up to three years, or both; or subsequently, be fined up to RM250,000 or five years’ jail or both for the second or subsequent offence.
A corporation or company can be fined up to RM500,000 and up to RM1 million for the second or subsequent offence, if the offender is not an individual.
Consumers can channel information on suspicious business activities through the ministry’s hotline at 1-800-886-800, the enforcement command centre at 03-88826088/6245 or at website http://e-aduan.kpdnhep.gov.my.