"In total, the police have detected 18 cases of mask and hand sanitizer hoarding and identified 33 suspects,” said spokesperson for the Indonesian Police, Senior Commissioner Asep Adisaputra, here on Thursday.
Some of the 33 suspects are traders who planned to benefit from the current crisis by selling masks and hand sanitizers at higher prices, he added.
“This has become our priority — cases of hoarding and sale of masks and hand sanitizers at higher prices in the market amid the coronavirus outbreak. Two of the 33 suspects have been detained," he continued.
The Jakarta Metro Police handled six of the 18 cases, South Sulawesi Police two cases, East Java Police four cases, West Java Police three cases, Riau Islands Police two cases, and Central Java Police one case.
Charges have been filed against the suspects under the trade, health, and consumer protection laws.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Sanitiar Burhanuddin has directed prosecutors handling cases involving hoarding of masks, medicines, basic necessities, and spreading of hoaxes related to COVID-19 to seek the maximum penalty for perpetrators.
This would serve as a warning for others planning to commit similar crimes, Burhanuddin said. (INE)
Related news: Village chiefs urged to ready quarantine centers against COVID-19
Related news: Jokowi orders health minister to finalize rules on social distancing
EDITED BY INE