Retailer 3 Stars asked to explain high prices of masks being sold
A retailer has been asked to explain the price of its masks after profiteering complaints from the public.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday that a letter of demand was issued to retailer 3 Stars on Monday.
The company has until today to submit explanations and provide full documentation on the basis of the selling prices of their masks, including their cost price and profit margins.
Failure to comply can result in a fine up to $10,000 for the first offence, and up to $20,000 for the second and subsequent offences.
MTI said in its statement that profiteering is a highly irresponsible and damaging act.
"We urge all retailers to practise corporate social responsibility and not take advantage of the increased demand to raise prices unreasonably," said MTI.
Member of Parliament Louis Ng posted on his Facebook last Saturday about masks going for $6.90 per piece and $138 a box in his Nee Soon GRC.
He said many Nee Soon East residents had alerted him about this, and he had also spoken to the staff in the shop.
In another Facebook post yesterday, Mr Ng said no one should be profiteering from the current situation, and jacking up prices may also cause panic.
He added: "Many people are understandably upset by this but we should give 3 Stars a chance to provide an explanation."
The move by MTI came as the authorities clamp down on retailers trying to take advantage of the novel coronavirus situation.
MTI had earlier issued one letter of demand to retailer Deen Express and four requests for information to e-commerce platforms Lazada, Carousell, Qoo10 and Shopee.