Ten individuals charged with hoarding health supplies and disrupting Iran’s economy stand trial on Saturday as these products are scarce in the country due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
The defendants in the judicial case include three Tajik nationals and seven Iranians who were arrested after trying to hoard and smuggle a large cargo of face masks.
According to the indictments issued by the court, the defendants are charged with “major disruption in the country’s economic system”.
Despite the urgent need for sanitary products in the country, the defendants intended to smuggle 2,600,000 masks to China.
On Monday, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Raeisi ordered severe punishment for hoarding pharmaceutical and health products as Iranian organizations and government bodies are heavily engaged in efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The health of people would never be up for a bargain, Raeisi stressed, adding that hoarding medical commodities in the current circumstances is playing with the lives of people and could not be forgiven by any means.
Following the increase of coronavirus increase, the Iranian government ordered the shutting of schools and universities and a ban on concerts and sports events.
Several high-ranking officials, including the deputy health minister and five lawmakers, have tested positive for the coronavirus as the spread of the outbreak forced the government to call on people to stay at home.