MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal charges against a former actress-model and her mother for illegal sale of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) rapid test kits.
In a statement on Monday, NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor said the suspects Avi Siwa alias Abegail Siwa and her mother, Glorina Julian Carandang, were charged with “violation of Republic Act 9711 otherwise known as the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009” and estafa in violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code at the Manila Prosecutors’ Office.
The suspects were arrested by the agents from the bureau’s International Operations Division (IOD) in an entrapment operation in Intramuros, Manila on May 29.
Distor said the case against Siwa stemmed from a complaint filed on May 12.
Siwa allegedly asked the complainant for a down payment of PHP4.6 million for 10,000 sacks of rice amounting to PHP16.6 million in Cebu City on May 4. Siwa allegedly failed to deliver the goods after receiving the payment.
Cooperating with the NBI and using the name Jane Suarez, the complainant sent a message to Siwa through Facebook on May 17, upon seeing the latter’s post about the arrival of 10,000 Covid-19 rapid test kits.
On May 27, Siwa responded to the complainant and offered to her various merchandise such as Covid-19 rapid test kits, face masks, sanitation sprays, face shields, gloves, personal protective equipment, and rice.
Siwa met with the complainant to talk about the sale of 120 pieces of rapid test kits at PHP650 per piece for a total of PHP78,000, and 6,000 sacks of Sider Denorado Rice and 3,000 sacks of Sifer Golden Rice, amounting to a total of PHP12,195,000.
The suspects were arrested upon receipt of the payment for the rapid test kits. (PNA)