A pharmacist has been arrested following an investigation into the illegal selling of coronavirus testing kits
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has said that selling these tests “undermines the nation’s collective response… and actually endangers lives”.
The man was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) who searched two properties finding £20,000 in cash, which they seized.
The man, a 46 year old pharmacist from Croydon in south London, was arrested for Fraud Act after allegedly making false claims about the legitimacy of the testing kits.
A 39 year old surveyor has also been arrested in west London on similar allegations, as the National Crime Agency targets suspected fraudsters thought to be taking advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The investigators found 250 kits in the surveyor’s car in Uxbridge, which he allegedly said he was planning to sell them to construction workers.
Both suspects have been freed on bail while the seperate investigations are still ongoing.
The NCA’s director of investigations, Nikki Holland, said: “Criminals capitalise on fear and anxiety and they will exploit any opportunity, no matter how awful, to line their pockets.”
“Illegally selling testing kits completely undermines the nation’s collective response to the pandemic and actually endangers lives.”
“Anyone thinking of trying to profit in this way should take note of these arrests and that bringing these offenders to justice and ceasing their activities is a key priority across law enforcement.”
Tariq Sarwar, head of operations for enforcement at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said:
“The use of products for the diagnosis of coronavirus infection in community settings, such as pharmacies, for home use, is not at present advised by Public Health England.”
“There are no CE marked tests for home use, and it is illegal to supply such products. The safety, performance or quality of the products cannot be guaranteed and this poses a health risk.”
The NCA has also said that they have taken down a website that was using phishing scam-emails to trick people into purchasing suspected non-existent personal protection equipment (PPE).
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