Elements of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7), along with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), conducted the first operation in Sitio Villa San Pedro, Barangay Tulay, Minglanilla town on Tuesday afternoon.
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3 sellers of ‘overpriced’ alcohol nabbed
Iris Hazel Mascardo (The Freeman) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Police have arrested three persons in separate entrapment operations for allegedly selling alcohol (disinfectant) way higher than the prescribed prices.

Elements of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7), along with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), conducted the first operation in Sitio Villa San Pedro, Barangay Tulay, Minglanilla town on Tuesday afternoon.

This resulted in the arrest of Queeny May Rosa Delos Reyes, 20, and a certain “Jan-Jan” Paradero, 23.

They were found selling 70 percent ethyl alcohol and hand sanitizers beyond the suggested retail prices (SRP) and without any legal documents or permits from Food and Drugs Administration.

According to CIDG-7 deputy regional director Major Ronald Tolosa, the suggested retail price for 1,000-mL alcohol is only P148 but the suspects allegedly sold the same for P220.

Seized from them were 51 plastic bottles of 1000-mL hand sanitizers, 45 plastic bottles of 1000-ml 70 percent ethyl alcohol, and 81 plastic bottles of 1000-mL 70 percent ethyl alcohol.

The same day, another entrapment operation was conducted in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City at around at around 5:45 p.m. There, police arrested Rio Lequin Espejon, a resident of Barangay Tisa, Cebu City, for selling overpriced isopropyl alcohol.

Espejon was allegedly selling alcohol for P200 per letter, or P52 more than the supposed retail price.

Police seized from Espejon 174 bottles of alcohol, which were of different sizes, with a total value of at least P19,000.

Samples of the confiscated pieces of evidence were submitted to FDA for laboratory analysis and examination to determine if their contents were genuine alcohol and disinfectants.

Tolosa told reporters that they discovered the illegal trading activities of the suspects online.

In some instances, Tolosa said that the suspects sold the products twice as much as they should be.

In defense, the suspects told police that their sources have also jacked up their prices, prompting them to also increase their selling prices.

The suppliers of the suspects are now also under investigation and subject for follow-up operation.

The suspects will face charges for violation of Republic Act 7581 as amended by RA 10623, also known as Price Act.

And if proven that their products were unregistered, they will also face another charge for violation of RA 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, as well as violation of DTI Anti-Hoarding and Anti-Panic Buying in relation to Presidential Proclamation No. 922.

The arrested persons are temporarily detained at CIDG custodial facility pending the filing of appropriate charges against them.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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