By Aaron Recuenco
Police seized some P21-million worth of face masks following the arrest of two foreigners in a buy-bust operation in Taguig City over the weekend.
Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said his men tracked down the alleged illegal activity of the suspects from a tip-off, which revealed that the purchase of KN95 face masks is usually done via phone calls and text messages.
He identified the suspects as James Zhu and Charles Lee.
“The confiscated face masks have a market value of P105 each, however, to sell it instantly and quickly, the arrested persons sell it at a cheaper price of P45 each,” said Coronel.
The entrapment was carried out on the evening of Friday, June 19, at the AKH Construction Plant, Lusacan, Barangay Wawa in Taguig City through a transaction of a police buyer for the purchase of some P9 million worth of face masks.
The two were collared after the transaction was completed.
Seized were 200 boxes, containing 1,000 pieces of KN95 facemask each, and entrapment money of P1,000 bill dusted money and boodle money to make it appear P9 million
The two are now under the temporary custody of the CIDG and will be facing charges for violations of Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act), RA 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act), and Article 151 in relation to Art. 14(7), both of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).