The increasing demand on disinfectants and sanitizers has led a number of Moroccans to take advantage of citizens by selling them fake products.
Rabat – The judicial police of Fez have arrested two individuals, aged 33 and 38, for their alleged preparation of chemicals that threaten public health and for the distribution of drugs and paramedical equipment without authorization.
The police officers made the arrests on Sunday evening, March 22, in coordination with the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST).
The suspects worked as herbalists and sold flasks containing artisanally-made disinfectants that posed a threat to public health, revealed a press release from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
Search operations led to the confiscation of 22,000 pairs of paramedical gloves, 1,400 paramedical masks, and 1,716 flasks containing chemical solutions labelled “sterilization solution.”
Authorities also seized 21 containers of paint thinner, 6 bottles of cologne, and 21 pieces of homemade soap.
The suspects possessed a large quantity of drugs, syringes, laboratory equipment, and money suspected to be the income of their criminal activity.
Police put the two suspects in custody awaiting further investigations.
The arrests are part of a series of operations by Moroccan security services to stop criminal activities exploiting the fears and worries of Moroccans from the novel coronavirus epidemic.
A number of charlatans have taken advantage of the public’s anxiety and sold fake products, while others have profited from the high demand on medical masks and disinfectants to sell them at excessively high prices.
On March 20, a similar operation in the city of Kenitra led to the closure of a factory for making fake disinfectants. The manufacturers presented their product to customers as a cleaning and disinfecting solution for both hands and surfaces.
To answer the high demand on hand sanitizers, Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy announced that Morocco will start producing ethanol, a substance used in the production of alcoholic antiseptics.
A new production unit, inaugurated on March 22, is set to become operational and fulfill Morocco’s demand for ethanol in one week. The plant will make 240 hectoliters of ethanol per day, revealed Elalamy.