The scam involving illegal sale of cancer drugs from the Tata Memorial Hospital, which was unearthed by the Central Bureau of Investigation last week, was not the first of its kind in the prestigious institution.
More than two years ago, a similar racket busted by the Food and Drug Administration had led to the arrest of three hospital employees who had allegedly pilfered medicines from the hospital and sold them in the open market.
In January 2007, the FDA got a tip-off about a Kandivli-based pharmacist and drug retailer, Hitesh Shah, who was allegedly procuring medicines from government and private hospitals at a cheaper price and selling them at market price.
The FDA raided Shah’s house on March 31, 2007. Simultaneous raids were conducted at his Kandivli shop and two other shops owned by his wife Viruti and mother Pramilaben in the same locality.
Another drug store in Kandivli that he ran was also raided.
The FDA learnt that three employees of the Tata Memorial Hospital had sold drugs to Shah at cheaper rates. Drug inspector Pravin Pawar lodged a complaint with the Bhoiwada police.
The police finally registered an offence on June 3, 2008 under various sections of the IPC and the Food and Drug Act.
“Dillip Jotse (who worked as a pharmacist), Kumar Naik and Jagatbabu Thakur (both helpers) were arrested,” said Police Inspector Nivruti Khatar, who had investigated the case.
During interrogation, the trio reportedly disclosed that they had met Shah during their daily commute by local train and hatched the plan.
Other than the trio, Shah, his mother and wife and three more people were also arrested.