Australian Federal Police have established a taskforce to investigate claims of price gouging of rapid antigen tests.
Investigations have already begun in Queensland and New South Wales following thousands of complaints to the consumer watchdog.
The ACCC asked the AFP to investigate after reports from across the country of convenience stores and service stations selling single rapid tests for $70 and more.
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Two tests have been selling for as much as $500 on online marketplaces.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Command Nigel Ryan said there would be zero tolerance for those who were profiteering from RATs.
“The AFP will use its full powers to crack down on RAT price gouging. Not only is price gouging of RATs unethical but it is illegal, and the AFP will use its significant resources to ensure it protects the public from the unlawful greed of others,’’ Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.
“Commonwealth and state agencies are working together on this issue, and under Taskforce LOTUS, the AFP makes no apologies for upholding the law to help keep Australians safe.”
Individuals and businesses face fines of up to $66,000 or five years in jail if caught selling RATs for more than 20 per cent of their normal price.
“My message is clear. Do not risk jail time or a significant fine for a few extra dollars,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.
The AFP has the power to seize any RATs where a person or business is found to be price gouging but has confirmed none have been seized so far.