TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The owner of Carry Mask was indicted Tuesday (Dec. 15) for making NT$34 million (US$1.21 million) by passing off face masks from China as made in Taiwan.
Lin Ming-chin’s (林明進) company was part of the “National Face Mask Team” of private-sector manufacturers requisitioned by the government earlier this year to produce masks and mask-making machines in the face of the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In addition to selling 3.95 million masks from China unsuitable for medical use, Lin is still under investigation for distributing unauthorized children’s masks, CNA reported.
The scam came to light in September when a pharmacist in New Taipei City looked inside a box of masks sent in by mail and found a user’s manual in the simplified Chinese characters used in China but not in Taiwan. She alerted the health authorities, which began an investigation through the Shilin Prosecutors Office.
On June 1, Lin had concluded an agreement with the government to produce 190,000 masks a day, but through acquaintances in China, he bought 4.6 million masks from a company in Anhui and had them repackaged as made in Taiwan.
The businessman made a profit from price and quality differences, while prosecutors said statements found on his phone proved he had been aware of the quality differences and of the illegal nature of his activities.