MANILA – Three individuals were arrested for the illegal sale of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) rapid test kits in Parañaque City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.

PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, citing a report from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, identified the suspects as Ace Dimaplis, Charisse Purino, and Aldrin Bacaran who were arrested in an entrapment operation in Barangay Don Bosco on Tuesday.

The operation stemmed from reports of the sale of illegally marketed medical devices such as Wondfo antigen rapid test kits which are placed in advertisements in illegal online selling websites.

A poseur-buyer ordered online 250 boxes of Wondfo rapid test kit, with each box containing 20 sets, amounting to PHP1.2 million pesos.

Recovered during the operation were assorted volumes of unauthorized rapid test kits worth PHP4 million, one magazine for .40 caliber pistol, various kinds of ammunition, two sets of caliper, a digital reloading scale, and smokeless gunpowder.

Meanwhile, the suspects failed to show to the operatives their license to operate (LTO) or special permit to sell and distribute the test kits with regards to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Circular No. 2020-016 and authority to possess gun reloader and live ammunition.

"Further investigation reveals that the arrested suspects were sub-leaders of Chinese online groups who were involved in illegal online selling of unauthorized Covid-19 rapid test kit(s)," Eleazar said.

The arrested persons were brought to the Quezon City police office for appropriate documentation and filing of cases for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9711 or Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 in relation to FDA Circular No. 2020-016 or the prohibition of online selling of FDA certified Covid-19 antibody test kits and violation of RA 10591. (PNA)