By Jeffrey Damicog
A doctor allegedly selling overpriced thermal scanners has been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“It is deeply saddening and disturbing that there are people who would be involved in a heartless act of profiteering at a critical time such as now,” NBI Director Eric Distor said in a statement.
“This is the time when people should be performing acts of kindness in order to help alleviate the crisis situation in fighting the dreaded COVID-19 which has claimed thousands of lives throughout the globe,” he pointed out.
He identified the arrested suspect as Dr. Cedric John Sarmiento De Castro, a physician registered with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).
The NBI’s Special Action Unit (SAU) conducted the operation against the suspect who was arrested at home in Quezon City on Tuesday, March 24, after receiving a report of the sale of overpriced thermal scanners through social media.
A NBI agent posing as a customer reached out to the suspect who agreed to sell 150 thermal scanners for P9,300 per unit which could be picked up at her home in Quezon City.
The NBI noted the market price of thermal scanners ranges from P500 up to P1,500.
“Interestingly, the suspect introduced herself as a doctor who said that the thermal scanners for sale are in excess of equipment donated to hospitals,” the NBI said in a statement.
The suspect was arrested by NBI after she received the entrapment money at her home.
Following the operation, the suspect was subjected to inquest before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on charges of profiteering in violation of the Price Act of the Philippines and for overpricing in violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.