The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has seized a total of around P41 million worth of medical items from profiteering, hoarding and overpricing, since the government has imposed a lockdown in Luzon and other areas due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
NBI Director Eric Distor said these medical supplies include alcohol and hand sanitizers, thermal scanners, personal protective equipment (PPEs), and surgical and face masks which have been scarce in the market when the lockdown was imposed by the national government beginning March 17.
Distor said that from the time the lockdown was imposed up to date, the NBI has conducted 61 operations nationwide by NBI-Manila based and Regional Operations units against those who took advantage of the current emergency health crisis brought about by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from the seizure of around P41 million worth of medical supplies, the NBI also arrested 122 persons in buy-bust and entrapment operations conducted against profiteers, hoarders and those overpricing the medical supplies and other items.
Distor said all arrested suspects have been charged for violations of Republic Act 7581 (Price Act of the Philippines), RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines), RA 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act), and RA 10175 for online sellers of said items.
Distor emphasized that the NBI will continue its operations relentlessly against those who take advantage of the present situation and will be dealt with the full force of the law.
He also advised anyone who has information on these illegal activities to report to the NBI./Stacy Ang