An Indonesian company was busted for allegedly washing and reselling used Covid nasal swab test kits. According to investigators, up to 9,000 travelers at a Medan airport could have been checked with the reused swab sticks.
Investigators detained several workers of the company.
Kimia Farma, a state-owned Indonesian corporation, is now facing a possible complaint filed on behalf of the travelers.
Nasal swab monitoring of Covid has become commonplace in many countries affected by the global pandemic.
The scam, according to police, has been going on at Kualanamu airport in Medan, North Sumatra, since December. It’s also unclear if they figured out the ruse.
If you wish to board, you must provide a negative result, and the airport has the opportunity to have the swabs completed on location. Kimia Farma provided antigen rapid test kits to the airport authorities.
The police detained five Kimia Farma workers last week, including the company’s Medan boss. Through cleaning nasal swab sticks and repackaging them for sale, the defendants are suspected of violating health and consumer rules.
Authorities have gathered reports from 23 witnesses, according to local media, and are examining whether the scam’s benefit – believed to be about 1.8 billion rupiah (£89,700; $124,800) – was used to construct a luxury house for one of the perpetrators.
Kimia Farma, based in Jakarta, has subsequently dismissed the employees who were involved and vowed to tighten internal controls.
According to the South China Morning Post, two lawyers who have flown via Kualanamu airport regularly in recent months have announced their intention to sue Kimia Farma.They expect to get 1 billion rupiah in a lawsuit for each passenger who was harmed by the system.
Indonesian authorities announced earlier this week that they had found two cases of the latest Covid variant first seen in India.
Jakarta started granting visas to foreigners who had visited India during the preceding 14 days last month.
Domestic travel has also been prohibited at the end of Ramadan this month, a time when citizens usually travel around the world to see families, and heightened limits have been imposed for other dates.
Indonesia has seen one of Asia’s deadliest Covid outbreaks, with over 1.7 million positive cases and over 46,000 fatalities attributed to the pandemic.