French Police Seize 140,000 Black Market Face Masks

Channels Television  
Updated April 27, 2020
French police stand near their vehicles as they look up to watch people dancing on the balconies of their apartments while music is played by two DJs, Sophie and Clara, during a two-hour party on April 24, 2020 in Paris. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.


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

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).

READ ALSO: Nearly Two Million Australians Download Coronavirus Tracker App

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.