The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Monday announced that it has arrested two online sellers — in separate operations — for hoarding face masks and alcohol and reselling them at exorbitant prices.
Initial reports said that the operatives of the CIDG Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU) first arrested a suspect identified as Willy Sy in an entrapment operation last Sunday in Tondo, Manila, on information that the latter was allegedly hoarding and overpricing the resale of face masks.
The police was able to verify the complaints through Facebook where Sy posted ads selling a box of surgical face masks (50 pieces/box) for a price of Php1,600 and seized from the suspect were 30 size-40 X 50 carton boxes containing 50 boxes of face masks each and the P1,000 bill dusted with ultra violet powder and boodle or fake money used in the transaction.
The total estimated market value of the confiscated items was pegged at P1,680,000.
Meantime, another online seller, identified as Huanshing Chan, was arrested by the CIDG later in the day in another entrapment operation this time in Quezon City as the suspect was found to be hoarding and overpricing unlabeled alcohol online.
Just like with the first arrest, Chan was proven to be plying his trade on Facebook and selling said unlabeled alcohol for P175 per liter and confiscated from the suspect are 350 bottles of 1-liter unlabeled alcohol with an estimated total value of P61,250, P500 bill dusted with ultra violet powder, and P35,000 in fake money used in the transaction.
Both Sy and Chan are now under custody of the CIDG and will be charged in violation of Republic Act (RA) 7581 as amended by RA 10623 (Price Act) and RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines).