TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Amid the scarcity of oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients, two suspects identified as WS or KR was caught by the Metro Jaya Police for modifying CO2-filled portable fire extinguishers into oxygen tanks.
“The suspect only cleaned them with water and then painted them white,” said Metro Jaya Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus on July 30. “We have confiscated 144 tanks.”
After modifying the tanks, the suspect would arrive at oxygen refilling stations and fill the extinguishers with oxygen and sell each at Rp5 million. Light extinguishers are commonly sold at around Rp750 thousand.
Yusri asserted that WS had acted so dangerously and jeopardize others’ lives as the two tanks had different designs and were not interchangeable. The hazard risks come in the thickness of the two where oxygen tanks are thicker in material compared to extinguishers.
“The thickness differs, and this can explode and can jeopardize people’s lives,” he said.
The suspect, who was arrested on July 27, now faces multiple charges under Law No.36/2009 on healthcare and Law No.7/2014 on trade.
M YUSUF MANURUNG