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BENGALURU : The city crime branch on Tuesday said that it had seized around 12,000 fake N95 masks, made by anti-social elements looking to profiteer out of the novel coronavirus crisis that has gripped the entire world.

“CCB conducts raid(s) & seize(d) 12 thousand fake N95 masks..accused makes masks with normal cloth and puts fake N95 seal and sells it at high price as N95 masks..Will weed out such anti socials who try to prey in this hour of crisis," Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) said in Tweet.

The N95 reusable masks sell anywhere between 200- 1000 on popular online platforms. The demand for these products has gone up exponentially in recent weeks after restrictions came into place to contain the spread of the virus. Even though the mask is necessary for those with any symptoms like cold and cough, since the virus spreads through droplets, ordinary citizens are wearing it as a precaution to avoid contracting coronavirus that causes covid-19.

The raid unearthed yet another racket of people who have been trying to make money by making fake hand sanitizers, masks and other safety equipment that has been in high demand in Bengaluru and other places.

The police has raided shops selling masks and sanitizers at very high prices across the city

“While everyone (is) doing their bit to tackle the coronavirus problem… few are misusing this terrible situation to make a quick buck… CCB raid 2 Godowns & seize 8500 FAKE SANITIZER bottles..2 accused arrested," Patil had said in a post on 20 March.

Bengaluru has also seen major drug crimes go up in recent weeks as people have been trying to make the most of the lockdown to earn some money.

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