After the Ministry of Health declared face masks and sanitisers an essential commodity given the coronavirus pandemic, the Food and Drugs Administration personnel raided a hand sanitiser manufacturing unit in suburban Nahur and seized substandard sanitisers worth Rs 25 lakh, officials in Maharashtra said.

The sanitisers were manufactured illegally and were being exported without any valid licence and necessary permissions, officials said on Wednesday. Officials had received specific information about the manufacturing unit, where hand sanitisers were manufactured without proper licence from the FDA, an official said.

FDA officials also raided another facility where sanitisers were manufactured by using floor cleaning chemical, the official said. Officials seized around 1,000 bottles of sanitisers and raw material during the raid, he said.

This is not the first case of substandard sanitisers, the Ghaziabad police had busted a fake germicide-producing unit and arrested four of its workers on Monday.

Kavi Nagar police team accompanied with Drug Department officials also seized various chemicals worth Rs 12 lakh to produce the spurious sanitiser, said Ghaziabad’s Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani. Factory owner Virendra Kumar and landlord Ranpal Singh of the premises at Mansarover Park colony of Bamheta village, where the factory ran on rent, are on the run, he said. Naithani said the team seized 90 litres of spurious sanitiser, 600 litres of alcohol, 20 litters of glycerin and 35,000 printed labels, besides empty plastic bottles and sanitiser manufacturing machines from the premises.

Another such racket was busted in Hyderabad where Police seized 25,000 units of 100 ml sanitisers and raw materials worth Rs 40 lakh. Investigation revealed that so far the accused have manufactured and marketed 1 lakh bottles worth Rs 1,44,00,000.