Banned synthetic medicines worth Rs 100 crore have been seized by a Rajpura police team in Karnal and five men are under arrest in this connection.
It was Punjab Police's biggest-ever haul of synthetic drugs, and there would be more arrests, said SSP Hardyal Singh Mann, who along with additional director general of police (law and order) Dinkar Gupta coordinated the raids on Sunday and Monday. One of the arrested men is a close aide of a former top police officer of Haryana.
The drugs seized are Parvon Forte, Parvon Spas, Proxyon, Spasmocip Plus drugs, all made from dextro-propo-xyphene hydrochloride, a banned salt in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985.
Rajpura superintendent of police Bhupinder Singh Khattra seized the cache from Karnal-based Pioneer Pharmaceutical and Prime Pharmaceutical. "The companies had a countrywide supply network of commission agents," said ADGP Gupta. "The factories were the biggest supplier of synthetic drugs in Punjab, and police zeroed in on them during the investigation into recent hauls in Rajpura and Ludhiana," he added.
The seized drugs include 90-kilogram diphenoxylate hydrochloride; 65-kg codeine phosphate; 25-kg other intoxicant powders; 7.10-lakh capsules of Parvon Forte and Spasmocip Plus; 6,600 bottles of Fancidryl; besides raw ingredients and packing material.
The arrested men are Rakesh Kumar, Mahesh Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, and Parveen Kumar of Delhi; and Kamal Raj Chawla of Preet Nagar, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar. The owner managed to flee.
Police claim to have gathered from the arrested people information about the network in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, and some other states.
Police in the border zone had registered first-information reports (FIRs) against 52 "top smugglers" after the policy directive to go after them, said the ADGP.
The two pharmaceutical companies that Punjab Police raided here on Friday are located in Rishi Nagar locality; and their owners, Prithvi Singh Chaudhary and his son, Pradipt Chaudhary, who fled, are well-connected.
The police seized their Toyota Innova car from the spot, Bikramjeet Singh, station house officer of Banur near Punjab's Patiala city, has confirmed on telephone. The Chaudharys are related to an influential business family of Karnal, and they live in Sector 9 here.
Drug inspectors accompanied the raiding party and collected samples from the spot. The Karnal units were not sealed, however. "The illegal units were run in the backyard, disguised as cattle pound," said the SHO.
A manhunt is on for the factories' owners and an arrest warrant has been issued in Punjab.