Doctor arrested for allegedly profiteering off thermal scanners

(Photo: Getty Images)

A medical doctor from Quezon City was arrested for allegedly selling overpriced thermal scanners that were donated to his organization, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced today.

Police identified the suspect as Dr. Cedric John Sarmiento de Castro, who was nabbed by the NBI on Tuesday after he supposedly attempted to sell PHP1.2 million (US$23,471) worth of infrared thermometers. Each of the 150 scanners were allegedly being sold for PHP9,500 (US$185), though their suggested retail price is only about PHP800 (US$15) to PHP1,500 (US$29) per piece, CNN Philippines reports.

The NBI also noted that the “scanners were further alleged to have been donated to [de Castro] in his capacity as chapter president of Lions Club” in New Manila, Quezon City, according to reports by GMA News.

The Department of Justice said the suspect will be brought to the Quezon City Prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings today for charges of profiteering and hoarding, the Manila Bulletin reports.

The NBI said that they also filed criminal complaints yesterday against four other suspects connected to medical supply stores in Manila that were allegedly selling overpriced thermal scanners and face masks. The move is part of a broader crackdown on people seeking to profit from the COVID-19 crisis.


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