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Indonesian Police Bust Illegal Covid-19 Vaccine Ring in North Sumatra Province

May 23, 2021, 06.27 AM – Police in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra has arrested four individuals in the provincial capital Medan for running an illegal Covid-19 vaccine ring that has been selling the vaccinations to the public.

North Sumatra Regional Police chief Inspector General Panca Putra Simanjuntak identified the suspects as three civil servants, whom he identified as IW, KS, and ASN, and SW, a property agent.

“IW is a doctor at the Tanjung Gusta Penitentiary, while KS is a doctor at the North Sumatra Health Service. ASN works alongside KS in the same office,” he said in a press conference Friday.

“The [North Sumatra Provincial Administration] entrusted IW vaccines with doses of the Sinovac vaccine to vaccinate the Tanjung Gusta [prison staff] and inmates, as he was the prison doctor. Instead, he used the vaccines on the public for a price.”

Also read: Indonesian Minister for State Enterprises Ousts Directors of Kimia Farma Subsidiary

Panca added that IW charged the public Rp. 250 thousand [$17.40] for a shot. “The group vaccinated 1,085 people during 15 illegal group vaccination drives, 14 of which were held in Medan and one in Jakarta since April 2021." he noted.

"IW carried out eight group vaccinations, while KS held seven,” he noted.

Based on popular demand

Panca said that SW procured and organized the recipients for the illegal vaccine drive, a fact that she admitted during the press conference. “I was involved in the vaccine ring to facilitate a number of friends who wanted to be vaccinated,” SW said.

“My friends paid up the [Rp. 250 thousand] fee to me in cash, which I then disbursed to the doctors. Both of them compensated me for overtime with cash and other means, though I did not ask for it.”

Boxes of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine that was used as evidence against an illegal vaccination ringKOMPAS.COM/DEWANTORO Boxes of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine that was used as evidence against an illegal vaccination ring

Panca said IW reiterated her under questioning. “IW admitted that he got the vaccines from his colleague SH after he filed the request. While he admitted to carrying out illegal vaccination drives in Jakarta, he has yet to name his accomplices in his activities there,” he said.

Panca asserted that the four made Rp. 271,250,000 [$18,879.14] over the past month, before the police shut down their illegal operation. “IW received Rp. 238,700,000 [$16,613.64] in the racket, while SW received her cut of Rp. 32,550,000 [$2,265.50].”

“The figures are proportionally based on their cut per dosage. IW has taken Rp. 220 thousand per dosage, while SW earned Rp. 30 thousand,” Panca said. “They even gave the recipients of thre illegal vaccinations a vaccine certificate.”

Also read: Indonesian Police Bust Medical Workers Reusing Old Rapid Test Kits

Panca assured the public not to worry about the vaccines, as they are available free of charge.

The busting of the illegal vaccinations comes a month, after investigators arrested five people from the Kimia Farma Diagnostika pharmaceutical company in North Sumatra’s Kualanamu Airport for reusing used test kits.

(Editor: Reza Kurnia Darmawan)


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