Two people have been arrested and arraigned in court in Kenya for allegedly publishing a false advert on social media claiming to have coronavirus self-test kits.
Pravan Mahendra Panchori and Sylvia Dindah Kaleve were arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts but the presiding magistrate opted to hear the matter outside the courtroom following the Judiciary’s directive on thwarting the spread of coronavirus.
The two were accused of illegally authorising, designing and uploading a misleading advert on March 15 about the availability of Covid-19 rapid test kits going for Ksh.3,000.
The advert, according to the charge sheet seen by Citizen Digital, directed the users to “place an order and avoid hospital queues and crowds” as there were only 400 remaining from 1000 unit stocks.
Mr. Panchori faced a second count of operating an unregistered and unlicensed health institution while Ms. Kaleve was also accused of performing a procedure without proper training, registration and licensing.
They pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Prosecution opposed the suspects’ release on bail saying their accomplices are yet to be arrested and they may help them evade arrest if they’re set free.
The prosecution, in an affidavit signed by Investigating Officer Noah Kiplangat, also said witnesses are yet to record their statements and the suspects may influence them otherwise if released.
“…the respondents if released on bail will continue to operate the clinic and con unsuspecting members of the public,” read the affidavit.
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