A man who smeared mucus and saliva on 320 facemasks on Monday was arrested by the police and transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) Wednesday morning, Chio Song Un, who heads the Planning and Operations Department of the Public Security Police (PSP), announced at a regular press briefing on Wednesday.
It was reported on Tuesday that the suspect – whose gender wasn’t revealed by the authorities at that time – had spat on the facemasks, but Chio clarified yesterday that the suspect had smeared mucus and saliva on the facemasks.
According to Chio, the police received a report at about 2 p.m. on Monday from a staff member of the Health Station in Coloane that a man had smeared 32 packs totalling 320 facemasks that were for sale, worth 256 patacas, with nasal fluid and saliva, so that the masks could not be sold.
The 54-year-old man surnamed Chao told the police that he is unemployed. Chao had purchased facemasks from the Health Centre in Coloane and was dissatisfied with the quality.
Therefore, he returned and asked for replacements. He then got into a quarrel with the centre’s staff and smeared saliva and mucus on the packs of facemasks that had been put there, after becoming angry.
According to Chio, the case has been classified by the police as a “very serious” one for causing an “adverse” impact on the authorities’ novel coronavirus prevention work, adding that after a comprehensive investigation by the police, Chao was transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) yesterday for further questioning, facing a charge of causing aggravated damage.
Chio reminded the public that the epidemic prevention work is very important and no one should damage or waste the virus prevention supplies randomly, or take any action which violates the law.