Fake Mascara Leads to Death Sentence

Associated Press

One man was sentenced to death and dozens others were imprisoned for their roles in a black-market operation that produced shoddy consumer goods, including mascara made from chimney soot, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The newspaper Socialist Industry said the death sentence was imposed on the ringleader, identified as A. Belopolsky.

It said an investigation into the operation at a factory in the southern city of Nalchik was triggered by complaints from women who said mascara purchased locally made their eyes tear. Investigators found the mascara was being made from soot at an underground workshop set up inside a light industry plant.


The workshop produced cosmetics and plastic goods from materials bought illegally from government suppliers, the paper said.

Bribes were paid monthly to factory officials, ministry workers, police officers and local officials to keep silent about the operation, the paper said.

Dozens of people involved in the operation were given prison sentences of 4 to 12 years, it said. The factory director, a bookkeeper and a third man were given 15-year terms.