Several Employees of a Pharmaceutical Reused Nose Swab Arrested in Indonesia Airport
Around 9,000 passengers at an airport in Medan may have tested with the reused swab sticks, where the state-owned company Kimia Farma is now facing a potential lawsuit launched on behalf of the travelers. The covid nasal swab test has become routine in many countries hit by the global pandemic. The police said that they have a scam which has been operating since last December at Kualanamu airport in Medan, North Sumatra.
Passenger is required to undergo the swab test and result in negative in order to fly and the airport is offering the option of using the antigen rapid test kits supplied by Kimia Farma and passenger were complaining that they have received false-positive test result and the police sent an undercover officer to pose as a passenger last week and found that their officer was receiving positive test result and other officers swooped in and raided the test site which they found a used test kit that had been recycled.
Five Kimia Farma employees including the company’s Medan manager were arrested and the suspect is accused of breaking health and consumer laws by washing nasal swab sticks and repacking them for sale.
The authorities have compiled reports from 23 witnesses and are investigating the profit from the scam which is estimated to be around 1.8 billion rupiahs ($124, 800) was use to fund the construction of a lavish house for one of the suspects too.
Two lawyers who frequently flew via Kualanamu Airport in recent months said that they were planning to sue Kimia Farma and in a collective lawsuit, they hope to get 1 billion rupiahs for each passenger who has affected by the scheme.