AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group have seized over P51 million worth of overpriced alcohol, face masks, thermal scanners and other medical supplies being hoarded and sold in the market over the past four weeks of the strict enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon and other parts of the country, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
According to PNP-CIDG director, Major General Joel Napoleon M. Coronel, the month-long operation led in the arrest of 345 individuals involved in hoarding and profiteering in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon and other parts of the country.
“We are conducting a no let-up campaign against hoarders and profiteers in the country, those individuals who continue to exploit the present national crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to hoard and sell hygienic products more than double or triple their standard retail price,” said Coronel.
The official said that from March 17 to last April 16, they have conducted a total of 220 anti-hoarding and anti-profiteering operations nationwide. Agents of the CIDG Region 4-A made the most number of arrests with 44.
The CIDG National Capital Region headed by Colonel Arnold Thomas C. Ibay, in coordination with the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas also scored significantly in the same campaign in Metro Manila where they have arrested over a dozen violators and seized over P20 million worth of overpriced alcohol, face masks and thermal scanners since last March 17.
According to Coronel, his men so far have confiscated a total of 24,778.73 liters of alcohol, 1,125,948 pieces of face masks, 1,477 pieces of thermal scanners and 1,029 liters of hand sanitizers.
He said that 302 criminal cases were filed against the arrested profiteers while another 24 will soon be filed in court.
Suspects Edwin de Guzman,43; Francis Francisco,22; and Arnold Sotto,40, yielded some P64,000 worth of isopropyl alcohol which they were selling for P350 each 1 liter-bottle.
In Bulacan, local CIDG and police operatives arrested Mary Joyce Rivera for selling 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for P750 each gallon during a sting along McArthur Highway in Bgy. Abangan Norte in Marilao municipality on the same day.
Recovered from the woman’s possession were 150 gallons of alcohol she was reportedly selling at P112,500 and the marked money. The PNP-CIDG said that the Department of Trade and Industry said that the seized products should only cost P520 per gallon and not P750 which is the asking price of the suspect.