(Photo courtesy of CIDG)

MANILA – Authorities arrested four Chinese nationals involved in the illegal sale of rapid antigen test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Manila last week.

In a statement Monday, Maj. Gen. Albert Ferro, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief, identified the suspects as Anna Chua, 24; Wen Ze Zhou, 27; Cai Hongyu, 52 and Bryant Ong, 42, who were arrested in an operation at a house along Gen. Solano St. in San Miguel, Manila last January 21.

Seized from the suspects were 240 boxes of Clungene antigen rapid test kits worth PHP960,000, a mobile phone believed to be used for online selling and a PHP1,000 bill marked money incorporated with boodle money.

Ferro said the four Chinese nationals belong to the Christian Criminal Group who is involved in illegal online selling of unauthorized Covid-19 test kits.

Five members of the group were arrested by the CIDG last week in separate operations in Manila and Quezon City from January 19 to 20, which led to the seizure of 500 boxes of antigen test kits worth PHP2 million.

The suspects are now facing criminal charges for violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009 in relation to FDA Circular No. 2020-016 or the prohibition of online selling of Covid-19 antigen test kits. (PNA)