MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday announced the arrest of two individuals in Parañaque City for illegally selling test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a statement, NBI OIC-Director Eric Distor said suspects Shanon April Mejia Alegre and Esseline Rasia Sy Ong were arrested in an entrapment operation by the bureau’s Anti-Organized and Transnational Crimes Division (AOTCD) on May 14.
An undercover NBI agent transacted with the suspects online and ordered 200 boxes of test kits worth PHP2.4 million from the suspects. Each box is sold at PHP12,000.
During the actual operation at a house in BF Homes, the two showed to undercover agents the boxes of test kits bearing the markings “Wondfo SARS COV2 Antibody Test (Lateral Flow Method).”
In separate advisories issued in April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reiterated to all licensed importers and distributors that Covid-19 test kits are strictly for medical professional use and not intended for personal use.
The said product should be acquired by the general public through a prescription from a licensed physician, hospital, or pharmacy.
Meanwhile, FDA Circular No. 2020-016 strictly prohibits the online selling of FDA certified Covid-19 antibody test kits.
The suspects who failed to show a license to operate or special certification to sell or distribute the test kits are now facing criminal charges. (ia/PNA)