Up to 10,000 airline passengers may have been tested for coronavirus with reused nasal swabs in a scam that netted thousands of dollars for the perpetrators, according to Indonesian police.
Five employees for major Indonesian pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma were arrested on April 27 for allegedly washing and repackaging rapid antigen nasal swab kits, and using them on passengers at the Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra.
Indonesia requires all passengers to provide a negative coronavirus test before they board a domestic flight, and the company sells the test kits in Medan airport.
The scam had been ongoing for about four months, police said.
North Sumatra Police spokesman, Grand Commissioner Hadi Wahyudi, said authorities were still investigating the number of victims affected by the reused swabs.
“They started their crime on December 17, 2020. If every day they have 50 to 100 customers, the victim’s number are estimated to be about 10,000,” he said.
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