COVID-19: Delta police bust two individuals reselling N95 and surgical masks at inflated prices

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      Two individuals in Metro Vancouver have been hit with bylaw tickets for attempting to resell masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Following the declaration of a provincial state of emergency, the B.C. public safety minister had issued a ministerial order on March 26, under the Emergency Program Act, that banned the resale of medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

      The Delta Police Department (DPD) stated today (April 3) that officers stopped two individuals from reselling boxes of N95 face masks and surgical masks at inflated prices.

      When a Delta crime-reduction unit constable was proactively searching through online ads, she found an individual reselling N95 masks.

      After contacting the seller, she arranged to buy several masks at a price of $15 per mask, along with a $300 “delivery fee”.

      The seller, a Burnaby resident who arrived in a luxury vehicle, attended a meeting at a prearranged location scheduled on April 2.

      The officer approached him and informed him he would receive a $500 bylaw ticket for operating without a business license. Consequently, police seized 60 masks, which the seller was selling for a total of $1,200.

      Today (April 3), police contacted a separate seller who was selling surgical masks and arranged to purchase 3,000 surgical masks for $2,200.

      This seller was also given a $500 bylaw ticket and the seller gave up those masks as well as an additional 2,300 masks.

      Police seized a total of 5,360 masks in these two cases.

      The DPD is working with the Fraser Health Authority to determine how the masks may be best used.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook