5 arrested for illegal sale of COVID test kits

January 19, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 79 views

AGENTS of the National Capital Region Field Unit of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Monday and Tuesday arrested five persons for involvement in the illegal online sale of COVID-19 test kit, officials said yesterday.

CIDG-NCRFU chief, Colonel Randy Glenn F. Silvio said confiscated from the possession of the suspects following two separate entrapment operations were an estimated P2 million worth of COVID-19 Clungene Antigen Rapid Test Kits.

The official said that two of the suspects were identified as Erwin Baluyot, a 39-year-old online seller from 713 A. Sulucan Street in Sampaloc, Manila, and Rocky Victoring, 35, a driver from Murillo St. in Quiapo were arrested during an entrapment operation along Banawe St. in Barangay Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City 4:50 p.m. Monday.

“We found out that the suspects were using the Facebook account ‘Esrohder Toyulab’ which is Baluyot spelled backward,” the official said in a report to PNP-CIDG director, Major General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro.

Recovered from the possession of the suspects were 200 boxes of Clungene rapid test kits valued at P800,000, the boodle money topped by a marked P1,000 bill, a delivery receipt, a photocopy of their official receipt and certificate of registration, and a mobile phone they used in making contact with the poseur.

A gray Toyota Innova with plate no. NDD 9405 was used by the suspects to transport the rapid test kits was also impounded by the CIDG-QCFD.

The three others were identified as Irene Alvarado, 30; and Elgin Alvarado, 32, both owners of a pet shop in Bgy. 28, Dagat-Dagatan, Caloocan City and Aurelio Agustin, 53, of 1266 Mithi St. in Tondo, Manila

Members of the CIDG-QCDFU arrested the trio during the sting which targeted the Facebook users selling online the rapid test kits. The suspects were found to be using the user name ‘Patricia Contreras’ in their illegal online selling activities.

Seized from the trio were the boodle money topped by a marked P500 bill, 300 boxes of Clungene test kits worth P1.2 million, and a mobile phone. A black Ford Everest with platen no. NGJ 5792 which they used to deliver the rapid test kits was also impounded by the CIDG.

Col. Silvio said that the suspects are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Law in relation to FDA Circular No. 2020-016 which prohibited the online selling of FDA-Certified COVID-19 Antibody Test Kits. By ALFRED DALIZON & MELNIE RAGASA-JIMENA