US sues Chinese firm over fake N95 masks

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) Justice Department sued a Chinese company for selling nearly a half million fake and substandard N95 respirator to US buyers in April as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the department said Guangdong-based King Year Packaging and Printing shipped three batches of purported N95 masks, needed to protect medical and other personnel from the coronavirus, to US buyers.

The company falsely claimed the 495,200 masks it shipped met the N95 standard and also falsely claimed they were certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), according to the complaint. The complaint indicated the importer of the masks paid more than USD1 million for them.

“The charges alleged in this complaint show a blatant disregard for the safety of American citizens,” FBI agent Douglas Korneski, who investigated the masks deal, said in a statement.