A China-based global firm is on an aggressive sales drive to profit from flooding Australia with millions of surgical masks as the Australian health system suffers a national shortage.
Despite Australia being just one country suffering a worldwide shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), the company seems to have plentiful supplies.
It is offering masks for sale in minimum orders of 100,000 at about $235,000.
The company, DongGuan Crown Win Packaging, appears to be using a fear campaign marketing tactic in selling the masks, saying the “coronavirus is getting worse, spread quickly”.
It then says “I hope you take good care of yourself and your family members” in an email from the company, also known as just Crown Win, obtained by news.com.au.
The email sent to Australian firms addresses them as “my dear friend” and says “let’s fight against the CONVID-19 (sic) together … hope the whole world get better ASAP”
The Crown Win campaign comes after Chinese companies drained Australia’s supplies of masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and other essential medical supplies and shipped them in bulk to China.
As exclusively revealed by news.com.au 90 tonnes of masks and medical supplies were airfreighted straight to Wuhan by Chinese property company Risland from its Sydney headquarters.
The bulk exports of our supplies happened in January and February, just before health professionals started reporting a shortage in PPE which has now deepened.
News.com.au has learnt Crown Win began emailing Australian business importers in late March.
Crown Win offered to supply companies that have no previous business selling medical supplies or PPE with face masks.
The company sends goods to Australia via air express shipping
News.com.au understands Crown Win is ordinarily a packaging manufacturer but also acts of a broker in selling goods.
It adheres to a strict minimum purchase order of 5000 “units” comprising of 10 to 20 masks.
One business was offered a minimum shipping order of 100,000 disposable face masks or
50,000 specialist N95 Proshield surgical masks.
Crown Win markets masks on the Chinese mammoth online shopping site Alibaba.com founded by billionaire Chinese magnate, Jack Ma.
One Australia company offered masks said the offer, which was declined, raised doubts about whether anyone who did agree to import the masks could adhere to Australian customs regulation.
This includes that all goods imported into Australia must obtain from the manufacturer a customs certificate declaring that imported goods are asbestos free and hygienic.
Crown Win sells products worldwide, in Europe, Africa, the US and Asia and says on its website that its operating principle is “provide excellent service for our customers”.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Western Australian Health Minister Roger Cook said there was a global shortage of masks.
“Every jurisdiction in the world is chasing supplies,” he said.
Earlier this week news.com.au obtained a video of boxes masks stacked up at Perth airport for airfreight to China.
It was also revealed that global property giant Greenland bought up and shipped off thousands of Australian medical supplies to China.
This was done after Greenland’s Australian staff were deployed from normal HR and management duties to go out shopping for masks, sanitiser, thermometers and gloves to be sent to Wuhan.
Home Affairs minister Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has now said people sending Australian supplies of face masks or hand sanitiser to China would be jailed for up to five years.
Greenland develops luxury ultra-high rise blocks in Australia.
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Originally published as China’s millions of masks amid shortage