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P4 million COVID-19 test kits seized in Manila

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
P4 million COVID-19  test kits seized in Manila
Officials of the Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine Coast Guard examine Clungene COVID test kits confiscated during a raid on a warehouse in San Miguel, Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Around 50 boxes of unauthorized COVID test kits valued at P450,000 were seized from three people in Ermita, Manila on Thursday.

Julius Caesar Ilagan, 29; Joy Anne Lllorca, 30; and Oliver Ong, 37, were arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in an entrapment operation at the lobby of a condominium building in Barangay 669 at around 5:45 pm.

Col. Randy Glenn Silvio, who heads the CIDG’s National Capital Region field office, said an informant tipped them off that the suspects were reportedly selling unregistered Clungene test kits online.

Police placed the suspects under arrest after they were unable to show any license to operate or special permit to sell and distribute test kits from the government.

Two cell phones were also confiscated from the suspects, who are being held on charges of violating Republic 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act.

Also in Manila, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Customs and Philippine Coast Guard raided a warehouse on Carlos Palanca street in San Miguel yesterday.

The lawmen confiscated 74 boxes of Clungene rapid antigen test kits. Each box contained 20 test cassettes, the NBI said.

Each kit is reportedly sold online for P120, according to Kristine dela Cruz, officer-in-charge of the NBI’s special action unit.

Chinese man Cai Zhi Cao, who was allegedly behind the operation, was arrested during the raid. Cai reportedly hurt himself by hitting his head on the floor when he saw the law enforcers, the NBI said.— Ghio Ong

COVID-19

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