Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Metropolitan Police raided a warehouse on Friday in Cilincing, North Jakarta, and arrested 10 workers found manufacturing fake medical masks.

"The warehouse owner remains a fugitive. The police are seeking him," Jakarta Metropolitan Police Spokesman Sen. Coms.Yusri Yunus told journalists.

The warehouse had earlier received a permit for storing medical equipment, however, it was misused for manufacturing fake medical masks, he said.

The preliminary results of the police investigation revealed that the masks were fake, having failed to meet Indonesia's national standard requirements (SNI), he said.

"The masks are fake. Their productions do not meet Indonesian Health Ministry's standard requirements and the SNI," he said, adding that the warehouse owner generated a daily turnover of up to Rp250 million.

Police officers seized some 30,000 boxes of medical masks that were to be sold, machinery for manufacturing masks and raw materials, he said, adding that 10 workers who had been arrested told police investigators that each of them was paid Rp120,000 per day.

The police charged the suspects with violating Law No.36/2009 on Health and Law No.7/2014 on Trade, which carry five-year-jail sentences and payment of fines up to Rp50 billion.

Amid ongoing global concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the demand for medical masks continues rising.

The Indonesian Government reports that Indonesia remains free from confirmed COVID-19 cases.

However, according to a report released by the United Nations' World Health Organization on February 25, 2020, globally there are 81,109 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the addition of 871 new cases, including 459 new cases in 37 countries outside China and 412 new cases in China.

Among the countries reporting confirmed COVID-19 cases are nations with Muslim-majority populations, including the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Oman, Egypt, and India.

In a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, the Saudi Arabian Government has temporarily halted the arrivals of foreign pilgrims and tourists in the country.


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Translator: Fianda SR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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