MANILA – Criminal charges have been filed before the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office against a Chinese national who was caught in the act of selling unregistered medicine which he claims to be a cure for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Friday.
In a statement, NBI OIC-Director Eric Distor identified the Chinese national as Shi Jianchuan who was arrested by operatives of the NBI Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division in Binondo, Manila in an entrapment operation on Wednesday.
The suspect yielded six boxes of the drugs which were sold at PHP240,000 per box. Each box contains 400 packs of 24 capsules per pack.
The packages of the medicine bear Chinese character markings and English markings “Linhua Qingwen Jiaonang”.
The drug was being peddled using the social media app WeChat.
Charges of violation of Republic Act (RA) 3720 otherwise known as the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 2009 and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act were filed against the suspect.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier said there is no registered drugs or vaccines yet that are licensed specifically as a cure for Covid-19.
Up to 70 ongoing projects worldwide are working on a possible cure and/or vaccine for the virus which has infected more than 2.7 million individuals globally and killed over 190,000 individuals.
In a taped address to the nation on Friday aired over state-run PTV, President Rodrigo Duterte has offered a reward of PHP50 million to any local individual or group that can develop a vaccine against Covid-19. (PNA)