2 Chinese nationals selling ‘COVID-19 cure’ nabbed in Cavite warehouse raid
SAN PEDRO CITY –– Police arrested two Chinese nationals during a raid on a warehouse in Bacoor City in Cavite province Friday for selling unregistered health capsules being touted as a remedy to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Zhixing Chen and Lingjie “Kira” Zhao were collared for selling the Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang in violation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009.
The arrest came after members of Bacoor Police Station Drug Enforcement Team under Major Ruben Ballera Jr., Philippine Drug Enforcement Unit in Cavite and Regional Special Operations Unit of Region 4 A served the search warrant for violation of Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, and the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act against the suspects.
The FDA on May 6 issued a public advisory against the sale and use of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang, saying the drug “has not gone through the registration and testing process of the FDA and has not been issued with proper authorization in the form of Certificate of Product Registration.”
“Thus, the Agency cannot guarantee their quality and safety. The consumption of such violative product may pose potential danger or injury if administered,” the advisory read.
During the operation at 9 a.m., police seized multiple boxes of medicine that contained 259,200 capsules with Chinese labels which allegedly cure patients infected with coronavirus disease.
Police said suspects were hiding the medicine inside the warehouse since the items were not registered by the FDA.
City police chief Lt. Col Vicente Cabatingan, in a phone interview, said a tip led them to the warehouse inside the Prime Pacific United for Consortium, Inc. in Barangay Niog 2.
Just last Wednesday, local authorities raided a clandestine hospital with a drugstore said to be treating Chinese nationals with COVID-19 at Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
While they did not find a hospital-like facility in Cavite, Cabatingan believed the warehouse was the “source” of the Chinese medicines proliferating in local drugstores and online markets.
Suspects are now detained at Cavite police station for filing of appropriate charges.
Meanwhile, police will conduct further investigation to track another suspect identified as Achinglee Payoran Xu, who is still at large.
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