After multiple drives were conducted and online sellers fined, now the shopkeepers of BMA Bhaban -- the biggest wholesale hub for medical equipment in Dhaka -- were found selling fake "virus shut out cards".
A mobile court of Dhaka district administration, in a day-long joint drive with the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), fined two shops in the market Tk 1.24 lakh yesterday, for selling these fake cards, fake sanitisers and fake KN95 masks.
Executive Magistrate Mahnaz Hossain Fariba, who led the drive, told The Daily Star that the shopkeepers were found selling the cards saying it will prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"We found they are selling the cards for Tk 250 to Tk 300 each and people are buying them in a craze. But there is no evidence that this card can protect the virus -- in fact it is harmful to public health as it spreads CIO2," she said.
"It is nothing but part of an international scam. We are really surprised to see that a central medical equipment market is selling these fake cards when a number of countries in the world has already banned it," said the executive magistrate.
During interrogations, the shopkeepers said that they are selling the cards for last couple of weeks and also supplied the cards to different areas of the capital, said Fariba.
Regarding the source of the card, Fariba said that the shopkeepers said that some people supplied the cards after visiting the market.
"We have got some details of the supply and we are now working to take action against them," she said.
Fariba further said the BMA Bhaban Malik Samiti leaders has assured that they will take action and these cards will not be sold from the market anymore.
Md Elias Laskar, joint secretary of BMA Bhaban shop Dokan Malik Kallan Samiti, said they were not aware about these cards and did not get any notice from authorities.
"We have already announced in the market and asked shopkeepers to refrain from selling the card," he added.
Contacted, Md Aziullah, assistant director of DGDA, said they are aware about the sale of these cards and are conducting drives in different markets and pharmacies across the country.
Asked about the import of these cards, Aziullah said, "We do not know how these people are getting release of these fake shut out cards from port but we did not give any permissions."
Earlier on April 20, the mobile court of Dhaka District Administration, led by Executive Magistrate Fariba, seized around 50 such cards and handed out a penalty of Tk 1 lakh to one Tipu Sultan for selling the fake products on online platforms.