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Shipping face masks, hand sanitiser overseas from Australia will be punishable by JAIL

Exporters caught shipping face masks, hand sanitiser and other vital medical supplies overseas during the coronavirus crisis will face up to five years in jail. 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has allowed customs can seize the goods and then add them to the national stockpile for healthcare workers to use. 

The move comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt also threatens to punish any business that is caught price gouging on the medical products – charging more than 20 per cent than what the products were bought for. 

Chinese companies have been shipping tonnes of the products to China, leaving Australian healthcare workers in fear of a looming supply shortage.








Bulk supplies of vital medical items were shipped from Sydney to China at the request of a Beijing-backed property giant

Bulk supplies of vital medical items were shipped from Sydney to China at the request of a Beijing-backed property giant

A Current Affair exposed the massive exporting operation, which comes as medical professionals express a growing concern that there is short supply of the vital products in Australia

A Current Affair exposed the massive exporting operation, which comes as medical professionals express a growing concern that there is short supply of the vital products in Australia

Australian doctors and nurses have been turning to hardware giant Bunnings – and even purchasing full-faced snorkelling kits from other retailers in fear of a looming protective gear shortage.   

Items banned from export during COVID-19 crisis: 

  • Disposable face masks
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable gowns
  • Goggles, glasses or eye visors 
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hand sanitiser 

Source: Australian Border Force

A company in Melbourne was caught with a warehouse full of Australian products packed for export to China.  

A Current Affair exposed the massive exporting operation.  

Footage from inside the packing centre showed pallets loaded with A2 milk powder, medications, bathroom supplies and baby formula, ready to be sent abroad. 

When asked where the goods were going, one of the workers said they were heading overseas.  

‘Probably to mainland (China), or somewhere like Hong Kong, Taiwan something like that,’ said the worker, wearing a surgical face mask. 

Frustrated mother Eva said she was ‘appalled’ by daigou shoppers – individuals who buy goods for overseas export – stripping shelves while locals struggled to buy what they need.

‘They don’t really care about us [Australians], they just care about making money off these products and sending them back to China, it’s wrong,’ Eva said.

The process is entirely legal and Daily Mail Australia does not suggest the company or its employees are involved in any wrongdoing.   

But former Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch described the operations as ‘disgraceful’. 

Warehouse workers loading and moving the boxes of supplies bound for China

Warehouse workers loading and moving the boxes of supplies bound for China

Soldiers from the ADF (pictured) drafted into making facemasks in Victoria as the shortage is so dire. After years of globalism, Australia no longer has a healthy manufacturing sector

Soldiers from the ADF (pictured) drafted into making facemasks in Victoria as the shortage is so dire. After years of globalism, Australia no longer has a healthy manufacturing sector 

‘If in fact I can’t buy more than two things of shower cleaner, surely to God you can stop people sending tonnes of masks overseas,’ he said.

‘It could cost lives in this country.’

Medical experts are worried a potential shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) will leave frontline medical staff exposed to infection and unable to care for patients.  

ANU College of Health and Medicine Professor Shane Thomas told Daily Mail Australia the country did not have enough masks, gowns and eye shields. 

‘It’s something personally I have a lot of concern about,’ he said. 

Pallet loads of essentials including A2 milk powder, baby formula and medical supplies being prepared for export, A Current Affair has exposed

Pallet loads of essentials including A2 milk powder, baby formula and medical supplies being prepared for export, A Current Affair has exposed

‘The fact we don’t have enough on hand is a problem. We have two big shortages: PPE and (coronavirus) testing kids.’

The shortage is so dire the Australian Army has pitched in to make more face masks at the Med-Con factory near Shepparton. 

On Sunday, footage emerged of the export of 90 tonnes of medical supplies including bulk surgical masks which were flown from Perth Airport to China on February 8.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 4,711

New South Wales: 2,182

Victoria: 917

Queensland: 743

Western Australia: 364

South Australia: 337

Australian Capital Territory: 80

Tasmania: 69

Northern Territory: 19

TOTAL CASES:  4,711

RECOVERED: 355

DEAD: 20

In a separate incident, Chinese-owned property developer Risland Australia flew 80 tonnes of medical supplies on a corporate jet to Wuhan in late February. 

Risland is owned by one of China’s largest property developers, Country Garden Holdings.

‘The chartered plane with 90 tons (82 tonnes) of medical supplies, including 100,000 most needed protective coveralls and 900,000 pairs of medical gloves, has successfully departed from Sydney and arrived in Wuhan on 24 Feb,’ Risland said on LinkedIn. 

Another Chinese property company,  Greenland Group, retasked its employees to purchase face masks, hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes, thermometers, Panadol and other medical items in bulk for shipment to China.

As countries around the world battle the virus, people from the United States to the Czech Republic are sewing their own masks, as studies show that while improvised masks are not as good as surgical masks, they are better than nothing.  

A Federal Health Department spokesperson said on March 24 that the government had contracted suppliers to provide 54 million surgical masks and P2 respirators for the national medical stockpile.

‘A significant supply of P2 and surgical masks remain in the National Medical Stockpile, and will be directed to areas of greatest need while additional PPE arrives,’ the spokesperson said via email. 

Meanwhile, Australia’s total confirmed coronavirus cases has soared to 4,559 including 19 people who have died. 

How bulk supplies of Australia’s face masks, hand sanitisers and other vital medical items were shipped to China as the coronavirus pandemic took hold 

Bulk supplies of vital medical items were shipped from Sydney to China at the request of a Beijing-backed property giant as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Australia.   

Greenland Group, which manages property developments across the globe with the support of the Chinese government, told employees at its Sydney office to stop their normal work in January.

Instead, they were tasked with sourcing face masks, hand sanitisers, thermometers and other medical items, storing them at their office and shipping them to China. 

A whistleblower told The Sydney Morning Herald the exercise was a worldwide effort and continued until the end of February.

Bulk supplies of vital medical items were shipped from Sydney to China at the request of a Beijing-backed property giant

Bulk supplies of vital medical items were shipped from Sydney to China at the request of a Beijing-backed property giant

‘Basically all employees, the majority of whom are Chinese, were asked to source whatever medical supplies they could,’ the insider said. 

‘There were numerous requests from the HR manager and even our direct reporting line [which] prioritised the assisting of the company in gathering these supplies over other work activities.’ 

Greenland Group told Chinese language media in Australia the company collected  three million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of medical gloves during the global effort.

It is unclear how many of those were sourced in Australia. 

Greenland Group confirmed the shipments from Sydney to China in a statement to Daily Mail Australia, saying it ‘felt compelled’ to assist ‘in efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which had caused a shortage of critical medical supplies in China’. 

The supplies were ‘dispatched to China, which at that time was the epicentre of the outbreak’, the statement read. 

‘As such, Greenland Group initiated a drive for medical supplies, and provided accommodation services for front-line medical staff in China via the company’s hotel group.

‘Greenland Australia supported Greenland Group’s initiative by arranging for medical supplies to be dispatched to China. Again, it should be noted that this proactive response occurred in late January and early February, at a time when the worldwide spread of the virus, and all response efforts, were focused on China.’ 

Photos show pallet-loads of medical items stored in company-stamped boxes at Greenland’s Sydney offices and at various airports. 

Sherwood Lou, Greenland Australia’s managing director, shared photos of the supplies on February 13.

He wrote at the time: ‘The second batch of non-contact forehead thermometers will soon take off to China! Coronavirus situation is serious, Chinese people, local and overseas, are trying their best, fighting together to combat the virus.’

Greenland Group told Chinese language media in Australia the company collected three million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of medical gloves during the global effort

Greenland Group told Chinese language media in Australia the company collected three million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of medical gloves during the global effort

The company has sold a billion dollars worth of property in Sydney and Melbourne since its 2013 arrival to Australia.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government is scrambling to produce enough medical supplies as confirmed local coronavirus cases surge to more than 2,400 – and doubling about every three days. 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said a ‘war production unit’ had been convened at the weekend to prepare Australia.

The Federal Government is scrambling to produce enough medical supplies as confirmed local coronavirus cases surge to more than 2,400. Pictured: Two young women in face masks walk along Circular Quay in Sydney on Wednesday

The Federal Government is scrambling to produce enough medical supplies as confirmed local coronavirus cases surge to more than 2,400. Pictured: Two young women in face masks walk along Circular Quay in Sydney on Wednesday 

‘We have four companies that have indicated that they are willing to make ventilators and will be seeking approvals which have been given at light speed,’ he told Nine News on Monday.

‘At the same time, we are working on imports and procurements, large volumes of masks have arrived over the course of the weekend, additional volumes of testing kits.’

Australia has only one face mask factory in operation, The Med-Con in Shepparton, a regional area of northern Victoria.

It is facing an unprecedented demand to make face masks and hospital gowns during the crisis. 

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Written by Angle News

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