This was not the first time that Vietnamese authority detained people hoarding face masks in large quantities for illegally export to China.
Hanoi’s market surveillance authority on February 9 seized 50 cardboard boxes of face masks owned by a Chinese national with no information on origin.
Hanoi’s market surveillance authority on February 9 seized 100,000 face masks owned by a Chinese national with no information on origin at a villa in Van Phu residential area, Ha Dong district.
The Chinese man later said he rented this villa to store face masks which would later be sold in China.
This was not the first time that Vietnamese authority detained people of storing face masks in large quantities for illegally export to China.
On February 4, Hanoi’s market surveillance agency seized 120,000 medical masks with no information on origin, which were en route to Lao Cai province to be exported to China.
In Ho Chi Minh City, market surveillance authorities checked a warehouse of Saigon Cargo Service Corporation located at Tan Binh district and found Chinese-bound 150,000 face masks without any invoice.
Deputy Director of Hanoi’s Martket Surveillance Department Nguyen Cong San said face masks are fast becoming a much sought-after commodity for smuggling to China due to the spreading of the new coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak.
With the current price of VND60,000 – 70,000 (US$2.58 – 3.01) per 50-piece box in Vietnam, smugglers would gain huge profits if they can successfully smuggle these face masks to China, San added.
Huge demand for face masks in China also led to an increase of 260% in export of that product from Vietnam via official trade channels in January compared to the average number of 2019, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).
In two border gates of Huu Nghi and Chi Mai in Lang Son province, over 4.2 millions of medical face masks were exported to China from January 29 – February 3, while hand sanitizers and face masks were fast falling in short supply during this period in Vietnam on fears of the outbreak. Hanoitimes
Ngoc Thuy-Le Nam
The local market is seeing used disposable face masks being collected for reselling and reuse, as well as fake hand sanitizers being widely produced, amid the rapid spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Large groups of people have been patiently queuing up on Nguyen Hoang Ton street in Hanoi as they wait to receive coupons allowing them to buy medical face masks at a standard price amid the recent rise in prices that has occurred locally.