Hundreds of ‘PPE pirates and profiteers’ are exploiting the coronavirus crisis and putting the lives of key workers at risk, a Daily Mail investigation has discovered. Health service leaders accused speculators of flooding the market for protective equipment such as face masks and gowns with vastly overpriced or counterfeit goods.
New businesses masquerading as healthcare suppliers are inflating prices by up to 1,000 per cent – as some desperate care homes are being forced to pay up to 10,000 per cent more for vital safety gear for their staff. NHS procurement managers are wasting hours of working time ruling out dubious suppliers from the black market, and have accused fraudsters of profiteering that ‘beggars belief’.
It comes as the British Standards Institution (BSI) warned of a surge in fake safety certificates for protective gear since the start of the crisis as swindlers flog substandard equipment. NHS trusts and care home bosses across the country are battling to secure equipment needed by workers treating coronavirus patients.