SunStar Davao File Photo
SunStar Davao File Photo

33 arrested for hoarding P13-M alcohol, face masks

POLICE have arrested 33 people for profiteering, overpricing and hoarding medical supplies that were badly needed in the battle against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Nearly P13 million worth of alcohol, hand sanitizers and surgical face masks were confiscated.

In an operation in Barangay 97 in Pasay City on Saturday evening, March 21, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Detection Group Detective and Special Operations Unit operatives arrested retired Chinese businessman Wang Yongyi, Bernadette Santos, and a marketing supervisor.

The three were apprehended in an entrapment operation for selling overpriced surgical or disposable face masks online.

The CIDG said a pack or box containing 50 pieces of face masks were being sold at a price of P1,700 each or P34 apiece. This exceeds the suggested retail price of P1,400 per box or P28 per piece.

Seized during the operation were 5,110 packs or boxes of surgical or disposable face masks with an overall estimated value of P8.687 million.

Meanwhile, the CIDG also conducted a total of 13 police operations in Tondo and Sta. Cruz in Manila, Quezon City, Iligan City, Isabela, Olongapo City, Tarlac, Bataan, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija and Cagayan de Oro City which resulted in the arrest of 30 individuals including four alleged members of a criminal gang and the confiscation of over P4.2 million worth of bottles of alcohol, hand sanitizers, and face masks.

The three suspects will face cases for the violation of the Republic Act 7581 (Price Act) as amended by Republic Act 10623 and Republic Act 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines), Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (Aggravating Circumstances), DTI Memorandum Circular No.20-07 “Anti-Hoarding and Anti-Panic Buying” and, Proclamation No. 922 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

PNP Chief Archie Gamboa has appealed to the public to report those who are taking advantage of the high demand for alcohol, sanitizers and face mask in this time of Covid-19. (SunStar Philippines)

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