Coronavirus: Nine Dubai merchants fined for inflating face mask prices

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Nine merchants in Dubai including five pharmacies have been fined for inflating the price of face masks, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) section of Dubai Economy said in a statement on Monday.

The fines were handed out to pharmacies in Al Quoz 1, Al Mizhar, Al Warqa 1 and Al Sabkha as well as a supply company, supermarket, and a trading company for hiking the price of facemasks, the statement said.

A merchant that sold goods online at higher prices was also fined.

The action was taken after consumers complained about the price hike. Later, an investigation by CCCP confirmed that the nine companies had violated consumer protection law by inflating prices.

A repeat offense would result in doubling of the fines and may lead to the closing down of the outlet, Dubai Economy said in a tweet.

Last week Dubai Economy had fined 14 merchants for hiking the price of face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In January, Dubai Economy officially instructed all pharmacies and retail outlets to not increase their prices for face masks as fears over the deadly coronavirus pandemic have caused a surge in demand from consumers, businesses, and healthcare suppliers.

The United Arab Emirates confirmed on Monday 398 coronavirus cases, raising the total number of cases in the country up to 4,521, according to the ministry of health.

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