Local authorities from Menteng, Jakarta, Indonesia arrested two women, Derei Wayet and Fauli Darma, aged 23 and 32 respectively, for allegedly collecting money from the public. The arrest was done on Tuesday, December 1, 2011 after a civilian who was visited by the women alerted the police of a door-to-door solicitation process done by the two women. Wayet and Darma claim that they are agents of The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeit drugs.
The Peterson Group is a self-proclaimed non-profit organization which claims to operate with the financial assistance of members and donations from different individuals. They also claim to have an allotted fund from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). The company completely denies rumors of solicitation issues and fund raising campaigns. They also firmly deny being affiliated with the abovementioned women.
TPG, as the company is widely known in the archipelago’s capital, has been actively operating in the country for three years now. The government has acknowledged the organization’s assistance in taking down a number of fraudulent businesses responsible for the production, importation, exportation, and distribution of counterfeit medicines in the country.
The women also continue to insist their cause saying, “We have been approved by the local government. We have certificates showing the government knows of it. We also have evidences showing we are members of The Peterson Group.
The complaint against the women is still pending in the local jury. The Peterson Group is also doing their own investigation although many believe that they may only be showing a fraud façade to clear their name in the issue.
The Peterson Group is also known to be currently under suspension and is not allowed to perform any activities related to their campaign against drug counterfeiting after their conflict against the local government for the misinformation they have written on one of their articles.
In the meantime, the authorities are warning the public of the increasing number of NGOs and scams which asks for monetary support for “a good cause”. Although there are those who really vie an objective in true intentions, there are those who would be using the name of the company or create a fake one to earn money. For the list of legitimate companies and organizations operating in your locality, you can ask your town’s secretary or go to your respective region’s site.