Street seller caught "ripping off" tourist with overpriced coronavirus face masks

An opportunistic street trader was confronted after selling overprices surgical face masks - despite government warnings that vendors could five jail for ripping people off. The man was seen offering worried tourists 10 flimsy paper masks for 350 baht (11.14USD) on the Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, Thailand. He was selling them despite the country's government warning that any vendors cashing in on the shortage of masks could face a jail term of five years or a fine of 100,000 baht. Footage shows the man in the process of selling the masks to a Chinese tourist concerned about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 disease. Health officials were handing out the masks for free just a few hundred metres away at a subway station. When confronted, the street vendor claimed that the masks were ''heavy ones, good quality''. His boss later arrived and told the filmer to ''f*** off''. The tourist then bought the masks. The filmer said: ''The coronavirus has caused enough problems without people ripping other people off, when we should be working together to stop the spread. Unfortunately, the tourist seemed to not know any better and ended up paying a vastly over-inflated price for the cheap masks which he could have picked up for free.'' There has been a nationwide shortage of face masks in Thailand and many other countries since the crisis escalated. In response to claims of sellers inflating prices, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit approved a price cap of 2.5 baht (eight cents) on domestically-made masks. "From Monday, all surgical face masks must be sold at 2.5 baht a piece, with violators liable to jail time and/or fines," said Mr Jurin, who also chairs the Central Committee on Goods and Service Prices. Face mask importers are also being forced to declare their import costs to the Department of Internal Trade (DIT). The rules also means the mark-up on the import price must not exceed 60 per cent. The government said that manufacturers, distributors, exporters and importers of items on the list are required to notify the DIT of production costs, prices, production volume, export/import volume and inventory. As of March 8, there have been at least 106,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world and at least 3,600 deaths. There are 60,228 recoveries.