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Fake Remdesivir drug racket busted in Punjab, six arrested

The accused arrested in a fake Remdesivir drug manufacturing racket busted by the Punjab Police. Photo: DPR/Punjab

Chandigarh/Ropar, June 18 (MNN) Punjab Police said on Friday that it had busted an interstate racket in manufacture of fake Remdesivir drug used to treat coronavirus patients by arresting six persons.

Rs 2 crore in cash and four cars apart from packaging material for these vials have also been from seized from the accused, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said.

Police said main accused Mohammad Shahwar had taken a premises in Maloya village near Chandigarh on lease on the pretext of stocking medicines ten months back.

Ropar SSP Akhil Chaudhary said those arrested were Mohammad Shahwar of Khudda village in Muzaffarnagar district, Arshad Khan of Baghpat, Mohammad Arshad of Saharanpur (all in UP), Pradeep Saroha of Kurukshetra in Haryana, Shah Nazar and Shah Alam of Behlopur in SAS Nagar.

A Special Investigation Team had traced the marketing address written on the vials recovered from the Bhakhra canal last month to Nautwins Pharmaceuticals in Maloya village in SAS Nagar.

The owner’s questioning led to the unearthing of the racket and identification of other accused, the DGP added.

Investigations are on to ascertain their areas of operations in other states.

Seized samples have been sent to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Kolkata, for forensic examination to find out which substance/chemicals were used in these fake medicines, the DGP added.

The SIT headed by SP Headquarters Dr Ankur Gupta was constituted after 3,000 vials, including 621 of Remdesivir and 1,456 of Cefoperazone, apart from 849 unlabelled ones were recovered from the Bhakra Canal at Salempur and Balsanda villages in Rupnagar on May 6.

An FIR number 46 dated May 6 was registered under Sections 188, 278, and 468 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 103 of the Trademark Act, Section 43 of the Water (Prevention and Control) Act, Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Sections 53, 54, and 57 of the Disaster Management Act and Section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act at Chamkaur Sahib police station, the SSP said.

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