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3 caught with P4 million COVID-19 test kits

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - May 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Around P4 million worth of unregistered COVID-19 rapid test kits were confiscated from three persons in Parañaque City on Tuesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported yesterday.

Ace Dimapilis, Charisse Purino and Aldin Bacaran were apprehended by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) during an entrapment operation in Barangay Don Bosco, according to PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

The suspects are being held by police on charges of violating Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition after 510 bullets for a .40-caliber handgun were recovered from them.

Investigation showed that the suspects were sub-leaders of a Chinese online group reportedly engaged in selling unregistered COVID-19 rapid test kits online, Eleazar said.

He said the CIDG set up a sting against the suspects after receiving reports about COVID-19 rapid test kits being sold online.

A police officer posed as a client and bought from the suspects 250 boxes of Wondfo rapid test kits for P1.2 million.

Police said they seized from the suspects unauthorized rapid test kits valued at P4 million, bullets, a gun reloader and firearm accessories.

The suspects were placed under arrest after they failed to show a special permit from the Food and Drug Administration and authority to possess a gun reloader and ammunition.

“This is a clear message to companies and other online sellers that selling of any type of COVID-19 test kits is strictly prohibited through online and anyone caught doing this may face criminal charges,” Eleazar said.

COVID-19 TESTING
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