Representational Image
Representational ImageCreative Commons

A garment firm in the city filed a complaint with the cybercrime wing of the Karnataka Crime Investigation Department (CID) against a US-based firm for allegedly cheating it of Rs 1.23 crore by failing to deliver N95 masks it ordered in July, police said on Monday.

FIR filed against US-based Mediapharma

"On a complaint from Nakshatra Creations executive T. Manjunath on Saturday, we have filed an FIR (first information report) against the US-based Mediapharma for collecting Rs 1.23 crore as advance for delivering the masks, but did not yet," CID Superintendent of Police M. D.Sharat told IANS here.

To cash-in on the huge demand for face masks in the pandemic times, the company placed an order online with Mediapharma to deliver four lakh of them and paid $1,65,000 (Rs 1.23 crore) on July 23 through net banking as 25 per cent advance for delivering them in instalments.

"As the investigation is underway, we cannot disclose more details to ensure due process of the law and not hamper the case," said Sharat.

According to Manjunath, the cyber wing has mailed the FIR to Mediapharma chief executive George Huang, its sales manager John Wung and their agent Ryan Philip Nguse and its counterparts in the US and Hong Kong where it has a subsidiary for shipping the masks to firms placing orders.

"We placed an order for four lakh masks after the company agreed to sell them for Rs 4.95 crore ($660,000) at $1.65 per piece. I transferred 25 per cent of the amount (Rs 1.23 crore/$165,000) as advance to a bank account given by the company," Manjunath told IANS here.

Admitting that due diligence was not done before placing the order and remitting the advanced amount, Manjunath said his company was in hurry to import the masks at the earliest to meet the growing demand, as wearing the mask has become mandatory with the rise in the Covid cases.