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Silicone Masks from ‘Mission Impossible’ Used in Real-Life Crimes: Should Sales Be Banned?

Daniel Kim Views  

Concerns are rising and prompting calls for sales restrictions about silicone masks associated with the movie Mission Impossible sold on Chinese online shopping platforms since these masks have been used in theft crimes.

According to Guangming Net, a report of five robbery incidents in a village in Suzhou was filed with the local public security bureau last month. The suspects made off with cash, jewelry, and electronics worth 30,000 yuan (approximately $4,100) but were apprehended by public security within an hour of the report.

The disguises that the suspects prepared for the crime gathered attention; they had prepared coveralls to disguise themselves as power company employees and silicone masks to change their appearances if necessary.

This is not the initial case of employing silicone masks in violations. In March, a man camouflaged with a silicone mask as an elderly broke into four households in Shanghai and stole goods worth 100,000 yuan (approximately $15,000). The suspect reportedly purchased the silicone film and masks used for special makeup in movies and dramas through the Internet.

Silicone masks for cover-ups can be easily purchased on e-commerce channels. There are various products, from silicone masks modeled after famous actors to those that can be custom-made to fit one’s face.

The custom-made masks cost between 3,000 and 25,000 yuan (approximately $410 to $3,400) and take about a month to produce. High-end products are so finely crafted that they can pass through low-resolution facial recognition devices.

The problem is that these products have the potential for criminal misuse and can be easily purchased without any identity verification or statement of intended use. The media inquired about purchasing silicone masks from six companies, none of which asked for personal information.

As a result, the masses demand stricter regulations and supervision of the sales and use of these products. Dr. Liu Jiong of the Law School at Xiamen University said, “Since masks can be purchased without identification, pointing out criminal suspects is difficult. They can bypass facial recognition devices and commit theft or other illegal activities using someone else’s identity.”

Professor Meng Jiang of the Law School at Beijing University of Technology warned, “In this case, the seller who sold the product on the platform may also face various legal risks and may be liable for civil and criminal responsibility.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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