Australian Federal Police Launches RAT Price Survey


Australian Federal Police have begun investigating the price gouging of the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), and individuals and companies selling COVID-19 testing at more than 20% of their original retail purchase rate will be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment or $ 66,000. I warned that I would face a fine. ..

AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Command Nigel Ryan Said Those who have benefited from RAT at the expense of the Australian people are intolerant.

“AFP will use its full power to crack down on RAT price cuts. RAT price cuts are not only unethical, they are illegal, and AFP uses its vital resources from the unlawful desires of others. We will definitely protect the people, “Ryan said in an AFP statement released Friday.

AFP coordinates with state and territory law enforcement agencies, federal agencies, and international partners for this investigation.

This news is announcement The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will also investigate allegations of price cuts on January 4.

The Australian Consumer Watchdog said it will crack down on RAT price cuts during a national shortage, following consumer reports after December 25.

Current January 17, ACCC has received more than 1,800 reports from consumers on rapid antigen testing, with an average of 150 reports per day.

“In extreme cases, two tests on the online marketplace have been reported and reported in the media for up to $ 500 and over $ 70 per test at convenience stores, service stations and independent supermarkets. This is clearly exorbitant, “ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement released on January 17.

As a result of the increased number of Omicron cases in the early stages of development, the demand for PCR testing was not met, putting great pressure on pathological laboratories and temporarily closing some laboratories.

According to a social media post, some retailers sell kit RATs for $ 45 ($ 32), usually retailing from $ 10 to $ 15 and wholesale prices starting at $ 3.95 in testing. It is in the range of $ 11.45.

In a statement released today, AFP announced that two investigations had begun in Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) following a referral from the ACCC.

Most consumer reports received by ACCC for companies selling RATS are from NSW, with over 90% of the reports related to test prices.

AFP expects more referrals with Task Force LOTUS, which is responsible for coordinating the study.

According to the Home Office Task Force LOTUS (pdf) Was created in February 2021.

Commit criminal activity related to the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.

Task Force LOTUS has the authority to investigate allegations of RAT reductions if a retailer or individual purchases a RAT from another retailer and resells it with markup greater than 20%. However, this authority does not apply to retailers who purchase from wholesalers.

AFP said Task Force LOTUS will refer to AFP strike teams across Australia for allegations of RAT price spikes. Such teams have the power to force individuals or businesses engaged in price cuts to abandon RAT. The RAT will be sent to the National Medical Stockpile.

Allegations of illegal import or export of critical medical products, including RAT and PPE, are also coordinated under the Task Force LOTUS.

As of Friday, AFP has not seized RAT, PPE, or other related medicines or handed them over to national medical stockpiles.

The supply shortage and cost of RAT has led to criticism by the public and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

Despite public pressure to make RAT free during the national shortage, Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to be tested, tested and subsidized for concession cardholders, free of charge. Only one person claimed to be free.

Marina Chan

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Marina Chan is a Melbourne-based Australian reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]