Jail for Chinese 'profiteers' sending COVID-19 supplies home


Exporting face masks or hand sanitiser will be punished with up to five years in jail, as will price-gouging of these and other "essential goods".

The moves come as a Chinese-backed company that recently sent 10,000 masks, 30,000 protective gowns and 68,000 disposable gloves from Sydney to Shanghai claims it is now amassing supplies that it will donate to Australian doctors and nurses.

To ensure there is no repeat of the Chinese takeaway, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has moved to ban exports of gloves, gowns, goggles, visors or alcohol wipes, as well as masks or hand sanitiser.

Customs can now seize the goods which will be added to the national medical stockpile if they are not defective.

In a second regulation change, Health Minister Greg Hunt has attacked price gouging of the same critical items - defined as trying to charge more than 20 per cent over what was originally paid for the goods.

Originally published as Jail for Chinese 'profiteers' sending COVID-19 supplies home