By Aaron Recuenco
Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) have seized more than P15 million worth of face masks which were reportedly being sold at a higher price.
CIDG Director Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said that their recent operation also resulted in the arrest of a suspect identified as Wang Lin, who owns the confiscated face masks.
“He was arrested for cases relating to hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculation of prices, product deceptions and cartels, monopolies or other combinations in restraint of trade or other pernicious practices affecting the supply,” Coronel said.
Coronel said the operation was based on the complaints of two witnesses who were forced by the suspect to sell the face masks at a higher price.
Seized were 270 carton boxes containing 540,000 pieces of face masks a P1,000 bill as entrapment money; and boodle money.
Coronel said the suspect faces charges of violating Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Presidential Proclamation No. 922 and a Department of Health memorandum related to the government’s quarantine measures.
The CIDG has been arresting a number of people engaged in hoarding and selling of overpriced medical items being used to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
Since March 17 or the start of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, police have arrested more or less 600 people across the country.