coronavirus testing (illustration)
coronavirus testing (illustration)Reuters

Police have opened an investigation into the conduct of 'pirate' coronavirus tests throughout the country in which the suspects collected sums estimated at tens of thousands of shekels that they pocketed.

There are five suspects who have been arrested, all of whom are volunteers for Magen David Adom.

The investigation was opened after the organization's management complained about a suspicion that coronavirus tests were being performed on civilians in an illegal manner by MDA volunteers, for a fee.

With the arrest of the first suspect for interrogation, police investigators revealed the method of the illegal operation, which involved other suspects, including other volunteers and laboratory owners in Israel and Ramallah.

The investigation also revealed that the suspects came to various places in Israel and also to Ben Gurion Airport, in order to perform coronavirus tests, some of which were allegedly carried out in such a way that their results were guaranteed to come out negative so that their 'customers' could enter and leave the country as they wished.

After the pirate tests were performed, the suspects would transfer the tests to a laboratory in the Palestinian Authority and a private laboratory in Jerusalem, with the aim that their results would not find their way into the Health Ministry database and thus remain anonymous.

The detention of four of the suspects was extended by two days.

"These are suspects who have taken over public health while undermining the importance of proper coronavirus tests, the whole purpose of which is to prevent infection, and to help the citizens of the country to overcome this epidemic with a minimum number of casualties, all out of greed. "We intend to take serious action against the suspects in order to bring them to justice," the police said.