NBI raids medical suppliers over profiteering

March 22, 2020

AGENTS of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized overpriced medical supplies and equipment during raids in Manila and Rizal recently.

"The NBI will be relentless in its campaign against profiteers and overpricing to protect consumers especially during this crisis,” NBI Director Eric Distor said in a statement.

Distor made the warning as he led an operation of the NBI’s Special Action Unit (NIBI-SAU) on Friday at a store in Sta. Cruz, Manila, selling overpriced thermal scanners and facemasks.

During the operation, NBI agents arrested the staff of the store and seized 1,360 pieces of thermal scanners and 7,680 pieces of facemasks even though the store had the signs “out of stock thermal scanner” and “out of stock any kind of mask”.

Distor said the items were worth more than P10 million.

The NBI chief said the raid of the store was conducted after receiving information that the thermal scanners were being sold at P8,000 per unit. He said the price was eight times more than its original price of P1,000 per unit.

Distor said charges are being readied against the store owner who was not present during the operation, and his staff for violating Republic Act 7581, the Price Act of the Philippines.

On another operation, the NBI Rizal District Office led by Atty. Igmidio Congzon Jr. also raided the Professional Skin Care Formula of Dr. Alvin office in Taytay, Rizal for selling overpriced isopropyl alcohol.

NBI agents seized a total of eight gallons of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol which were being sold at P750 per gallon which was much higher than the price set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which already ordered a price freeze.