Nine people arrested in Beijing for organizing carpooling in COVID-19 risk areas; testing lab fined for not following govt guided price
Published: Sep 27, 2022 10:05 PM
Handcuffs photo: VCG

Handcuffs photo: VCG

Beijing police have investigated and punished illegal and criminal acts in which passengers were sought via online social media platforms for the purpose of providing carpooling into Beijing for people who are from COVID-19 risk areas, and nine suspects have been arrested, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

The Beijing police said they had received reports that some carpool ads were posted on social media platforms offering services for people from COVID-19 risk areas in North China's Tianjin and Hebei so that they could enter Beijing. The police immediately launched an investigation.

As of Tuesday, the police have arrested nine suspects. The nine people confessed to the crime of organizing carpooling into Beijing for people from epidemic risk areas in order to make high profits. The investigation is continuing.

According to local media reports on Tuesday, a nucleic acid testing facility was also punished for not enforcing government guidelines on prices.

From December 2021 to April 2022, the government guideline price for nucleic acid tests was 35 yuan ($5) a time. But Beijing Beiji Medical Testing Laboratory Co began pricing its nucleic acid tests at 40 yuan per test on an online platform on February 18, 2022, and gave a 5-yuan coupon with each order.

In a March 18 order, the company sold nucleic acid testing services twice, but only provided one 5-yuan coupon, so the actual price of the test for the purchaser was 37.5 yuan a time, higher than the government guideline price. On March 30, the company sold another 40-yuan nucleic acid testing service, without providing a coupon.

The Market Supervision Bureau also pointed out that the government guided price should not be achieved by charging 40 yuan and offering a 5-yuan coupon. Therefore, the company's behavior constitutes false or misleading pricing to lure consumers.

Beijing's Shijingshan District Market Supervision Bureau ordered Beijing Beiji Medical Testing Laboratory to correct its behavior and fined it 185,015 yuan.