CEBU CITY, Philippines –Two men producing and selling fake swab test results were apprehended by the operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) yesterday, March 18.
The operation conducted in downtown Cebu City and in Pier 1 led to the arrest of Rakim Busara, 19, and Rogelio Nebres, 40.
On March 14, the NBI-7 received information from a concerned citizen about several individuals selling fake real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results along Colon Street.
After days of monitoring and verifying the tip, NBI-7 carried out on Thursday afternoon an entrapment operation first against Busara then conducted a follow-up against Nebres.
Busara was arrested inside a building located at the junction of Legaspi and Colon Streets. While Nebres was caught in Pier 1.
In the NBI-7's report, it showed that travelers would only need to pay between P800 to P1,500 to Nebres who allegedly will instruct Busara to come up with the printed and fake RT-PCR results.
Usually, individuals who undergo swab tests in accredited molecular laboratories will have to wait around 24 to 48 hours for their results, the suspects however were able to produce the documents within an hour.
The cost of obtaining RT-PCR test results in Cebu City from private hospitals and other accredited testing facilities is at least P3,000. Currently, both Nebres and Busara are under the custody of NBI-7.
Nebres said that he knew what he got into to but was just recruited to act as a middleman. He also worked as a habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) driver.
“I’m the only one who will refer (to Busara) those who wanted to get the documents. And we don’t sell them to those whom we don’t personally know,” said Nebres in Cebuano.
Busara, on the other hand, said he was not aware that the job he got into, which is manipulating images of genuine RT-PCR results, was part of an illegal transaction.
“I was just told to follow what they ordered,” Busara added in Cebuano. Authorities confiscated a computer set and a printer as evidence.
Source: CDN Inquirer.Net