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Woman reported to prosecutors for alcohol disinfectant at double price in Japan

Antiseptic solutions that were confiscated from a house of woman suspected of illegally reselling items amid the coronavirus outbreak are seen in this photo provided by Aichi Prefecture Police.

NAGOYA -- A woman suspected of reselling bottles of rubbing alcohol at double the normal purchase price was reported to public prosecutors on July 1, marking the first criminal case in Japan on the resale of such products under new regulations pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

    According to Aichi Prefectural Police, the 36-year-old woman, an unemployed resident of Nagoya's Nakamura Ward, stands accused of violating the Act on Emergency Measures for Stabilizing Living Conditions of the Public. In May, a governmental ordinance related to the act was revised to prohibit the resale of antiseptic solutions.

    The woman is specifically accused of listing six bottles each containing 30 milliliters of rubbing alcohol, which she previously bought at 1,966 yen, on an internet site and selling them for 4,000 yen. She has admitted the allegations and was quoted as saying, "I knew it was wrong but I wanted money."

    The woman is said to have shopped around several drug stores near her home and allegedly purchased large amounts of antiseptic solutions from around March. She allegedly told salesclerks that she needed them as she works at a care facility.

    The women's alleged actions were uncovered by the prefectural police's cyber patrol unit at the end of May. Police found nine bottles of rubbing alcohol as well as 208 packs of disinfectant sheets at her house, some of which are covered by the new regulations. The woman confessed she was involved in at least around 10 other cases of reselling items, according to police.

    (Japanese original by Kazuki Sakuma, Nagoya News Center)

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