In the last three months, the gang produced several lakhs bottles of fake hand sanitiser and sold them to people, pharmacies, and footpath shops
In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a high demand for hand santisers.
To make money out this, a youth gang set up a factory in the capital and started producing hand sanitisers without using its key ingredient – isopropyl alcohol.
They only used colour, lemon flavour, gel and spirit to make the sanitisers.
In the last three months, the gang produced several lakhs bottles of fake hand sanitiser and sold them to people, pharmacies, and footpath shops.
Even just a week back, they sold 2 lakh bottles of hand sanitiser in the market.
A mobile court of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-10 conducted a drive on Thursday in the factory that was producing fake hand sanitiser.
The mobile court has sentenced the factory owner and two others to two years of imprisonment for making fake medical products.
The convicted are factory owner Md Kazi Munna, 25, and his associates Md Shanto, 24, and Md Sabbir Sattar, 22.
Tipped off, the RAB-10 mobile court conducted a drive in the capital's Jatrabari at around 3pm and seized nearly 1 lakh bottles of fake hand sanitisers from the spot, Executive Magistrate of RAB Palash Kumar Bashu, who led the drive, told The Business Standard.
The mobile court also fined the building owner, Abdul Mannan Bhuyan, 67, Tk2 lakh for renting out his property to Munna to set up the factory.
Palash said that Munna would collect chemicals from Mitford and bottles from Kamrangir Char and produce fake hand sanitisers.
The gang would sell the product using the name "Handsol Hand Rub."
But they never used isopropyl alcohol as it is costly and they have no idea about its effectiveness, said the executive magistrate.
The product's maximum retail price (MRP) is Tk80 but they would often sell those at Tk100 to Tk150 depending on market demand and situation, Palash said.
Earlier, during June 19-20, a mobile court of Dhaka district administration led by Executive Magistrate Mahnaz Hossain Fariba conducted separate drives in the capital's Shahbagh area and fined pharmaceutical shop owners Tk63,500 for selling fake sanitisers and disinfectant fluids.
Professor Dr Sultana Shahana Banu, head of virology department of Dhaka Medical College, said the use of low-quality medical products is one of the key reasons behind the spike in Covid-19 infections in the country.
"The use of fake sanitisers or hand rub can be dangerous as they may cause skin disease and often cancer."