A man in Hong Kong was arrested on Friday morning for fraudulently acquiring a large amount of COVID-19 medications over the course of several days, according to a Saturday report from local newspaper South China Morning Post.
The suspect, aged 60, reportedly received nine courses of free COVID-19 drugs in the span of five days. Each round of medications was obtained from a different private clinic, according to the Morning Post.
Hong Kong police told the Morning Post that the investigation was continuing and more arrests were possible. The police believe that this case is connected to a similar incident that occurred in late February.
Previous instance of COVID-19 medication fraud
Police arrested a 63-year-old man on February 28 on suspicion of lying about contracting the COVID-19 virus in order to get free medication, according to Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), a local public broadcasting service.
He also went to nine private clinics but did so over two days. RTHK cited a police statement saying that the maximum potential punishment for such a crime is 14 years in prison. Selling or giving out prescription drugs is punishable by a maximum fine of HKD 100,000 (approx. $12,740) and two years in prison.
"Members of the public are also reminded not to resell or provide to others prescribed Covid-19 oral drugs legally obtained from doctors, regardless of whether the drugs are supplied by the Government for free or self-purchased from the doctors," the RTHK cited the Hong Kong police statement as saying.