The Business Manager of PT Kimia Farma, with the initials PC, has been named as a suspect along with four of his employees, for the recycling of antigen swab sticks used at Kualanamu International Airport, a scheme that has been going on since December 2020.
The North Sumatra Police Chief Inspector General RZ Panca Putra Simanjuntak said 100-200 people were undergoing antigen swab tests for air travel each day.
The perpetrators produced and recycled sticks used to perform for antigen swabs. These sticks were collected by the perpetrators, washed, cleaned, then repackaged, and used by the perpetrators to do another swab test at Kualanamu Airport.
He explained that the perpetrators were recycling the antigen tests on the orders of the Head Regional Office Business Manager at PT Kimia Farma Solusi in Medan. The company has been working together according to the contract with Angkasa Pura II to carry out the testing for passengers.
The currently appointed Head of the Regional Office or Business Manager is a temporary officer at the Kimia Farma Medan office on Jalan RA Kartini.
The recycling process does not meet the health requirements and data standards required by health laws. The recycled sticks were used on consumers and the criminals then produced a certificate showing the results.
From the results of the investigation, this activity was carried out by PC as the Business Manager, or acting head of the Kimia Farma Office in Medan City, and assisted by four other people, identified by the initials DP, SP, MR, and RN.
The four were supervised by PC in the plan to reuse testing sticks at Kualanamu Airport at the Kimia Farma Laboratory. After being recycled, the antigen test sticks were then taken to Kualanamu Airport, to be used on unsuspecting passengers.
As of December 2020, an estimate of Rp1.8 billion has been pocketed by the suspect.
“What is clear is that the evidence is Rp149 million from the suspect’s hand. And what is clear is that one day there are 100-200 passengers who take a swab test. If you count 100, times 90 days, that’s already 9,000 people,” he said.
Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force Wiku Adisasmito spoke of the scandal. “The task force is very supportive of the police’s efforts to track down the people involved in this case,” Wiku said.
He went on to say that the findings of the counterfeit antigen tests were very concerning. The Task Force criticised the counterfeiters of the antigen device, saying the action is intolerable because the perpetrators were aware that they were endangering the lives of others.
The COVID-19 Task Force hopes that such falsified findings will be the latest case. He asked providers of antigen test kits not to play with human lives and carry out tests according to procedures.